“All Power to all the people”
After months of anticipating this to be our next favourite film (after having a hunch it will have similar vibes to Three Billboards) we were ready to see our first Spike Lee film. The promotion for the film had been fantastic and really got us hyped. The hilarious premise of it had us really intrigued, and we’re glad to report this film met our expectations, if not exceeded them. When you see this, you’ll witness a star performance from John Washington, his first big movie. It wasn’t until after the film where we realised he is Denzel Washingtons son, which makes a lot of sense. He channels a lot of Denzel Washington with his suave, original and bold performance. Adam Driver is currently one of our favourite actors, giving a necessary and difficult performance to pull off playing a real Jewish cop and a fake racist.
The film has an overall fun whilst delivering an intensely strong political message which really gave us a three billboards vibe (as we predicted). However, unlike three billboards, it manages to do this without ever comprising the entire film, and we give it props for that. Going to the cinema a lot with friends with different interests and tastes, we often find that films can centre the film too much on political messages rather than being subtle, which we have found can distract people too much from the film. That is not the case with this film as the plot is centered around what the political message was and if it wasn’t already clear by the title this film deals with racism in America.
Some cinematography stuff…
The style this film is made through is absolutely immitating the late 70’s and early 80’s. One scene has a throwback camera angle with the camera positioned very far away but yet the audio is perfect as they walk at an angle towards the camera. It’s just one shot but the throwback camera technique really makes the whole film ‘groovy’ and unique. They even included the classic slowly moving person shot to give off a true 70’s detective vibe. The soundtrack is extremely solid, and some reminiscent of Django unchained. The electric guitar just didn’t resonate with me. The movie looks great with beautiful editing and cuts throughout. The movie makes a final crescendo with the tension working for the movie and not against.
The film itself…
It occured to us after the film had ended that the statement ‘this is some fo real shit’ at the beginning of the film meant the story was actually FOR REAL. It didn’t hit us until after because this is truly some wild shit. Even the hilarious ‘picture scene’ really did happen. And despite the film being a great comedy, the writers took the story serious enough that the drama and tension have real value. There are flaws in the characters and story, like Chief Bridges character seems ridiculous just for the purpose of tension and conflict in the police house. The actual KKK storyline and trust gaining experiences are interesting to watch and learn about. It moves quick enough and always kept my attention. The ending really slams the themes of the whole movie in your face with a real life phone clips of brutality and racism.
It ridiculously enjoyable and all we can say is, see it on the big screen.