• Lee, now 61 years old, gives us his strongest effort since 2002’s The 25th Hour
  • Adore the shot reverse double-dolly close-up (very near the end after John David Washington and Laura Harrier decide to break up and look out of their window to see who is knocking). Lee has a ton of wonderful reoccurring visual and stylistic trademark and flourishes but this one is my favorite-
  • It’s a fabulously engaging narrative- the 135 minutes fly by- it may be Lee’s greatest pure narrative film
  • Lee has never been subtle- and I love it- I typically like bold filmmakers and auteurs (and his visual style matches his content delivery) – but the Corey Hawkins preaching (literally preaching—again from Spike) scene is close to too much (cutting to images of adoring onlookers)- he’s literally on a pulpit- still—it’s juxtaposed later with Topher Grace’s KKK leader David Duke—and it beats the long preaching scene from John Cusack in Chi-raq
  • It’s largely a cop movie- or even a buddy cop movie—one playing on the contrast of the background and differences in the two cops like Lethal Weapon or even better, 48 hours. But this genre has roots even back to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
  • There’s some Django here with the comedy in a socio-historical setting—Lee has chosen not only to make the two leads funny (Washington and Driver are great) but the KKK members (aside from one) are largely funny. Topher Grace is a talented comedian as is Paul Walter Hauser from I, Tonya
  • Nods to pioneering and influential Blaxploitation films
  • Trump isn’t outright referenced until the end but there are intelligent nods along the way—Nixon and Reagan are a part of the film- Nixon especially in the mise-en-scene
  • Speaking of Nixon- several shots can’t help but recall All The President’s Men (and now Soderbergh and even Fincher using lighting as mise-en-scene)
  • Like the Rodney King footage to kick off Malcom X Spike here reframes the film at the end with real life doc footage (Charlottesville here). He frames the beginning with Gone With the Wind and Baldwin’s fake documentary sequence
  • You have the “Wake up” dialogue trademark in nearly all of Spike’s films
  • I love the romantic dance sequence set up by enjoyable stylistic filmmaking- the “too late to turn back now” by Cornelius Brothers and Sister Rose—love of the 1970’s period work
  • Recommend for now- could be HR with another viewing