Backfire is a new indie action film at Netflix

Photo by Sajid Chaudhary
Photo by Sajid Chaudhary /

Backfire is an indie film making success story for Black Deniro, but it’s not a movie that is going to be a hit for Netflix.

In the early days of Netflix, I remember watching a lot of bad independent films. There were some gems there as well, of course, but there were plenty of movies that made me wonder how they ever got made. I was ready to put Backfire in that camp, but through my research, I realized that Backfire was written, directed, and starred in by Philly rapper Black Deniro.

I respect the hustle of Deniro for going out and getting his film made and then selling it to Netflix but it is not a film that is going to hold the attention of the average viewer.


Very early in the film, it is clear that the writer is a genre fan. Two low-level criminals decide to hold up a couple as they walk out of a nice restaurant. The young man calmly asks the men if they know who he is before they get annoyed by the couple stalling and one of them shoots both people.

Well, it turns out that the young man who was shot has ties to the Italian mob and this is where it gets fun. The members of the Italian mob are as stereotypical as possible. From the way they talk to the mannerisms and the family dynamics, Deniro definitely is a fan of the old school mob flicks. Unfortunately, the performances are hard to take seriously in these scenes and most of them end dramatically and violently. Somehow this almost makes you forget how bad some of the scenes were.

Now on the other side of the story the main character, Jerome (Black Deniro), was well acted. His scenes and his interactions with his family and friends seemed much more natural as it was likely easier for Deniro to write this character. The family dynamic actually made the movie watchable for me as I became invested in seeing how Jerome got out of a bad situation.


The plot is simple enough. Two guys accidentally kill the girlfriend of a mob member in a botched robbery. The rest of the movie is the guys trying to avoid being killed by the mob for payback. A lot of blood is spilled and there are twists and turns along the way that doesn’t make a ton of sense but by all means managed to keep me entertained.

Even the parts that were incredibly unrealistic had entertainment value through the unintentional humor of it. However, the surviving shooting victim’s healing factor must be higher than Wolverine’s. After being shot at the beginning of the movie, our guy Dominic (Dominic Costa) is brought home by his father and has to be tended to by a nurse at their home. The first day the nurse comes he is unable to speak. The next time she comes he grabs her violently. Within what had to be a day or two (because there was nothing to tell me weeks or months had passed). He is well enough to fight and yell and take people hostage.


All in all, if you like action movies, don’t care about great acting, and don’t need them to be incredibly be realistic you might enjoy Backfire. As I’ve said throughout, I remained entertained despite the film’s many flaws. I still cared to see how Jerome was going to get out of the mess he made and there were a few potential loose ends that I needed to see tied up. If nothing else this movie should serve as inspiration to aspiring filmmakers. If you’re willing to do the work, you too could get your movie to Netflix.

Backfire is currently streaming on Netflix. 

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