Prince's direction is on a par with his acting, roughly equivalent to his aptitude for Presidential politics. Nonetheless, the film has a lively style, a galvanizing score and some dance numbers in which the star truly shines.
Prince is a puzzle. Unfortunately, in Graffiti Bridge, he isn't a very interesting one. The main problem may be that most of the music in this sequel to Prince's 1984 musical Purple Rain is mediocre, mainly derived from rap and funk but without the energy those forms generate when they are presented raw. [06 Nov 1990, p.4D]
There are so many problems with Graffiti Bridge. The major one is that this "contemporary musical drama" stars and was directed by Prince, who also wrote the script and the score. This may be four hats too many.
Graffiti Bridge is a sad fiasco — and except for Shake! the music (at least to my ears) is Prince at his most joyless, a collection of glorified rhythm tracks. For the first time, the revolutionary funkster seems to be preaching to a world that has left him behind.