BlacKkKlansman: Review by Kush Hayes
Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman based on the true story of Det Ron Stallworth, is one of the most important movies released in 2018, maybe in the last ten years, maybe in all of Spike Lees directorial career.
Its not a perfect movie. But I feel it succeeds with getting its story told and for what Spike Lee attempts to do, which I feel at times was “Not make a Spike Lee Joynt”. There are the usual Spike tropes he puts in most of him movies, but then he just makes his movie. He doesnt need to squeeze more political content in this story. The story tells itself. It happened. Hell, if even half of it happened, its fascinating.
While BlacKkKlansman is a dry 2hr 15mins, whereas other movies Ive reviewed I usually address the time with “Id remove 15-45mins” I dont think Id remove one scene from this feature. If anything, I might add more details to this movie. However while we are going off on the sole point of view of Det Stallworths story, we could use some more background on him. We really only get one throw away line “...I’ve always wanted to be a cop…” but never why or what steered him in that direction or even the scene thats usually in Spike Lee Joynts “You wanna be that? Youll never be that!” scene.
I know what happens to Det Stallworth in the long run, for instance, those in San Francisco, he’ll be doing a Q&A at the Alamo Drafthouse on Mission St on Sunday Aug 12, but I feel like itd still be nice to know what he did after the events of this movie. What did Adam Drivers character do with his life after the case. These guys on this undercover team, put their lives on the line to collect information on a group who do not easily let things go. The consequences for their failure were great.
I ended up seeing this in a Dolby theater last night, and while the soundtrack is nice, I felt no reason this needed to be in a premium theater. I feel like itd have been visually as good on a regular 2d screen.
The acting is all suburb. John David Washington is fantastic and after seeing him in this, I feel like his talent is being wasted on HBOs Ballers. Adam Driver and Michael Buscemi bring a solid performance, but as its not their story they’re more in the background, even Driver despite being Washingtons white avatar in the kkk. Laura Harriers tallent is also enhanced in her performance in this movie making you wonder why she wasnt allowed to do more in Spiderman: Homecoming. Topher Grace does an amazing job playing David Duke to the point you believe he believes he the character.
Im happy to add this to the list of favorites in 2018.
I encourage you to see it.
I will see it again in theaters.
Five out of Six Blueberries.
BlacKkKlansman releases nationwide this Friday, August 10th 2018