“She’s 6 feet 2″ of Dynamite and the Hottest Super Agent Ever!”
After napalming opium fields in Turkey, six-foot-two-tall karate-trained government agent Cleopatra Jones (ex-model Tamara Dobson) returns to Los Angeles to confront Mommy (Shelley Winters), the lesbian queen of the drug underworld.
Mommy has set up a phoney drugs bust at the Brother & Sister House (a halfway house in the ghetto for recovering drug addicts), which is run by Cleopatra’s boyfriend, Reuben (Bernie Casey).
While Cleopatra is determined to bring justice to whoever planted the drugs at the halfway house, Mommy is equally determined to annihilate Cleopatra. But her henchmen are constantly being out-fought, outgunned and out-witted by the resourceful female agent.
When a henchman draws a blade on Cleopatra, she says,” The next time you pull out a razor around me, you better shave!”
In a spine-chilling climax, Cleopatra, Reuben and members of the Brother & Sister House clash with Mommy’s gang. The see-saw battle ends with Reuben proving himself a hero worthy of Cleopatra’s faith and trust.
Director Jack Starrett handles the action well, though clumsy martial arts and comic-book theatrics conspire against his vigorous direction.
Yet the meld of funky exuberance, urban angst and camp performances (with leather-jacketed Winters giving new meaning to the phrase “over-acting”) make this blaxploitation landmark a heady, badass cocktail of ginormous Afros, pimptastic clothes and wakka-wakka tunes.
The movie did well enough to spawn a sequel, Cleopatra Jones and the Casino of Gold (1975), with Stella Stevens taking over the villainess role as the Dragon Lady, Bianca Javin.