BLACKKKLANSMAN is SPIKE LEE in EPIC FORM

Has everyone seen the recent Sacha Baron Cohen outing ONLY IN AMERICA? In it Cohen pretends to be someone else and buddies up with some seriously influential people and gets them to say or do stupid things that truly make the mind boggle. In one segment I saw he had a gun supporting Republican Senator agreeing 4yr olds should be armed and then it got more stupid and made my head shake at how ridiculous these people are. BLACKKKLANSMAN is a much more nuanced journey into ridiculous people in a similar vein. takes us on a quest into the heart of dark stupidity of the KKK and their ludicrous desire to be hate-filled racists for no reason. And the horrendously scary thing is that it is ALL BASED ON A TRUE STORY.

BLACKKKLANSMAN is out today in Australia from Universal Picture Australia. It is rated MA15+ and runs for 135mins.

 

BLACKKKLANSMAN Burning Cross image
BLACKKKLANSMAN Burning Cross

 

BY

BLACKKKLANSMAN SYNOPSIS:

It’s the early 1970s, a time of great social upheaval as the struggle for civil rights rages on. () becomes the first African-American detective on the Colorado Springs Police Department, but his arrival is greeted with skepticism and open hostility by the department’s rank and file. Undaunted, Stallworth resolves to make a name for himself and a difference in his community.

He bravely sets out on a dangerous mission: infiltrate and expose the Ku Klux Klan. Posing as a racist extremist, Stallworth contacts the group and soon finds himself invited into its inner circle. He even cultivates a relationship with the Klan’s Grand Wizard, David Duke (), who praises Ron’s commitment to the advancement of White America. With the undercover investigation growing ever more complex, Stallworth’s colleague, Flip Zimmerman (), poses as Ron in face-to-face meetings with members of hate group, gaining insider’s knowledge of a deadly plot. Together, Stallworth and Zimmerman team up to take down the organisation whose real aim is to sanitise its violent rhetoric to appeal to the mainstream.

Produced by the team behind the Academy-Award® winning GET OUT, BLACKKKLANSMAN offers an unflinching, true-life examination of race relations in 1970s America that is just as bracingly relevant in today’s tumultuous world.

 

BLACKKKLANSMAN John David Washington and Adam Driver image
John David Washington and Adam Driver

 

A TIMELY WORK OF BRILLIANCE FROM SPIKE LEE:

BLACKKKLANSMAN is a work of Spike Lee brilliance. This story is so horrendously ridiculous that you couldn’t write it. I still cannot comprehend it is a true story.

The movie tells the story of Stallworth with a little bit of artistic licence and comedic flare but Spike Lee is telling this movie as a reminder that the KKK and is as alive and well as the past. You must stay through the credits to see the current footage of hatred, and its support going all the way to the man claiming to be the President of the United States of America.

Spike Lee shines a bright light on racism again via the KKK but for the first time I can remember he also shows the KKK is not just men but women desperate to hate and burn crosses themselves. It was good to see the female KKK members were portrayed as stupid as the men. I still can’t fathom the point of hate filled racism!

The humour in BLACKKKLANSMAN is abundant, the Blaxploitation style in the telling is hysterical but Lee himself never saw this movie as a comedy. Probably because of the infuriating subject at its heart. But the delivery will have a lot of laughs, especially when Stallworth is on the phone to KKK Grand Wizard David Duke.

 

BLACKKKLANSMAN John David Washington image
John David Washington

 

THE CAST IS SENSATIONAL:

Fantastic casting throughout BLACKKKLANSMAN. John David Washington is actually Denzel’s son, I had no idea until I started writing this review. He is nothing like his dad but at the same time has that calm demeanour about him. John’s comic timing is better than his dads and he is a leading man on the rise. He owns every scene he is in and I can’t wait to see him soon in Robert Redford’s movie THE OLD MAN AND THE GUN. He is also on the TV show BALLERS if you think you recognised him.

Adam Driver – everything he does is amazing. His almost languid approach to this character fits in with the yokel style of the stupid KKK he infiltrates. It’s a much different approach than his Kylo persona and his chemistry with Washington is marvellous – he looks like the guy who should hate Stallworth but he is a cop through and through.

is likewise as good as not only Patrice Dumas, Stallworth’s love interest, but also the other side of the coin. During the day Stallworth deals with the KKK and his nearly secret identity as a police officer, but during his evenings he spends time with his girlfriend, an organiser of the local Black Power movement. The contrasts between the two are more to make the mind boggle. It is through Patrice that Salltworth and the audience learn more of the struggles and injustices of the African American.

Special mention to Robert John Burke as Chief Bridges, a fantastic performance and an interesting character. A Chief that mostly wants Stallworth to fail at everything but knows right from wrong and is deserving of his badge and position. And keep your eye out for a small part from Alec Baldwin – as funny as it is outrageous.

 

BLACKKKLANSMAN Adam Driver image
Adam Driver

 

IN CONCLUSION:

BLACKKKLANSMAN and Spike Lee deserve all the accolades that will come from this movie. It is a powerful movie with a deep heart but told in a way that is easy to swallow and lined with fantastic humour. The dark heart of the movie is a sad story, one that has not changed much over the years. Injustice is a struggle, not for only the black people of the world, but anybody who is watching the world devolve and is incapable of doing anything about it. Humanity could be so much more.

 

 

 

YOUR CRITIC:

 owns, writes and edits Salty Popcorn and Spooning Australia. He is a movie, food, restaurant, wine, chocolate, bacon, burger and brussels sprouts addict. He is a member of the Australian Film Critics Association and has been in the  industry for 26yrs. Furthermore he loves watching people trip over and is Leonardo DiCaprio’s biggest fan. 

** Images used are courtesy of various sources on Google or direct from the distributor or publisher. Credit has been given to photographers where known – images will be removed on request.