This sequel to the urban masterpiece PENITENTIARY, directed and written by pioneering independent filmmaker Jamaa Fanaka, may have garnered comparisons to the Rocky films, but its ultra-violent fight scenes, unsentimental view of urban life and elements of 80’s kitsch make it a perennial classic that stand alone.
Paroled after serving time for a murder he didn’t commit, prison boxing champ Martel “Too Sweet” Gordone (Leon Isaac Kennedy) hangs his gloves, moves in with his sister’ family and rekindles his romance with Clarisse ( Eugenia Wright- “Magnum P.I.”). He soon learns that life on the outside isn’t much easier than it was in prison when “Half Dead” Johnson (Ernie Wright- “Oz,” Ghost Busters, The Human Tornado) escapes from prison and murders Clarisse.
Though the loss of Clarisse is almost too much to bear, Too Sweet, with the help of his new trainer (Mr. T- “The A Team,” Rocky III) returns to the fight game and begins his rise to the top. Meanwhile, brother-in-law Charles (Glynn Turman- Sahara, “The Wire”) continues the battle against Half Dead, who intends to destroy the entire Gordone family.
Featuring thrilling fight scenes, a roller disco sequence, and cameos by Stephanie Mills, Rudy Ray Moore and “Moms” Mabley, PENITENTIARY 2 is a must-have for any fan of Urban Cinema.