The Meteor Man is a 1993 Superhero Movie, starring Robert Townsend alongside an Ensemble Cast ranging from well known black actors and comedies such as Marla Gibbs, James Earl Jones, Robert Guiliaume, Sinbad and even Bill Cosby himself, to up and coming black actors such as Don Cheadle and Eddie Griffin. Townsend also wrote and directed it just as he did with his was a with his previous film The Five Heartbeats. Although neither of films fared very well, they both are considered cult classics to African-American viewers like most of his work.Jefferson Reed is a mild-mannered schoolteacher in a neighborhood terrorized by gang activity. Jeff tries to help a woman who is being mugged by two kids apparently trying to get into the Golden Lords, the most powerful of the local criminals and which has member groups even amongst toddlers (Termed "Baby Lords"). The woman flees but the entire gang shows up and proceeds to chase Jeff. He hides in a dumpster for hours. After leaving the dumpster, he spots a falling meteor and tries to run away. But his life is changed dramatically when he awakes in the hospital realizes the effects of the meteor gave him a number of different superpowers. He decides to don a superhero identity, Meteor Man, and to use his powers to fight crime.This film provides examples of:
Acrophobic Bird: Meteor Man never flies more than a few feet from the ground due to his fear of heights.
A God Am I: The Big Bad after he gains powers from the meteor and bests Meteor Man in battle.
Naughty By Nature, Cypress Hill and Another Bad Creation are credited as themselves. However each member is also individually credited as a member of gang their in during the movie. Naughty By Nature's members are credited as Bloods, Cypress Hill are Crips, and ABC are Lords. This may be relative to the actual gangs they all belong to, but it is unclear.
The Crips and the Bloods (who Meteor Man befriended earlier) show up on the rooftops, armed with rifles, when Byers threatens Jeff at the end. Byers is forced to back down when he realizes that however powerful his organization is, at that moment he does not have as much power as the dozens of guys with rifles lining the rooftops.
Child Soldiers: It seems as if the bulk of the Golden Lords are kids. The even name them according to age (i.e. Junior Lords and Baby Lords. They don't kill anyone, however due to the PG rating nobody dies, so the adult Lords don't kill anyone either. They all seem very eager to kill though. Especially the Baby Lords.
Combo Platter Powers: The meteor gives anyone that touches it a VERY diverse set of powers, including:
Everyone Join The Party: At the end, when the last of the gangsters asks Jefferson to leave town, the entire community stands on all nearby rooftops with their weapons ready to fire. This drives the rest of the criminals away.
Evil Is Not a Toy: A couple of kids are members of the Golden Lords, but they clearly weren't prepared for what gang life actually entails. They pull a Heel-Face Turn in the end.
Fail O'Suckyname: Some of the Golden Lords qualify. But Don Cheadle's if by far the worst, Goldilocks, he proves to be one of the tougher Lords, however.
Anyone who has seen The Five Heartbeats will instantly recognize Bird, one of their rivals, is the Big Bad and leader of the Lords.
Hospital Hottie: Played straight and subverted, first with the hot young Lela Rochon and the Angela Robinson-Witherspoon, then with La Wanda Page, the old nurse that even says to Jeff "What can she do that I can't?"
Novelization: By Cliff Thompson. Features a large amount of material that was cut from the finished film that would have made the film more well-rounded, including a scene where Jeff overcomes his fear of heights.
Power Perversion Potential: Reed learns he has the power to see through clothing while recovering at the hospital. His first impulse is to test this on his hot nurse. Unfortunately for him, said hot nurse isn't on duty.
Say My Name: METEOR MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!!!
Shout-Out: The leader of the Golden Lords says, while discussing the cities under their control to the other high-ranking members, he says that their next move will be to take over New York. Then he says " if I can make it there, I can make it anywhere." Which is a line from the theme song of "New York, New York"
Stunt Casting: Where do we begin James Earl Jones as a neighbor, Bill Cosby (no lines), Marla Gibbs and Sinbad. Gibbs has the biggest role, she plays the protagnist's mother. Also from the music industry, Luther Vandross (also no lines), Big Daddy Kane, Another Bad Creation, Cypress Hill, Naughty By Nature and Jazz singer Nancy Wilson.