Review: BlacKkKlansman

Going undercover.

Ron Stallworth (John David Washington) is the first black officer at the Colorado Springs Police Department. Eager to prove himself, but treated poorly by several other officers, he's finally given an opportunity to go undercover. Wanting to take it a step further, he infiltrates the local KKK chapter using fellow officer Phillip Zimmerman (Adam Driver) to go as his "white" self while he speaks to to them over the phone.

Director Spike Lee is never subtle, nor gentle with his opinions and BlackKlansman is better for it. His direction is incredible. I especially loved how he would show the juxtaposition between the two groups. How we would be watching a klan initiation and flip back to a man telling a group of black college students about the horrors of racism and what they need to do to fight it. Lee manages to make you feel disgusted, laugh occasionally, and overwhelm you with power all within the film's two hour run time. If you think he's taking digs at our current administration during the film, just wait until the end when he flat out calls them out.

John David Washington has his dad Denzel's voice but he doesn't once try to emulate him in any way. He's completely his own character and he's tremendous in this role. Stallworth really believes in being a police officer and wanting to prove himself. Anyone who reads this blog knows that Adam Driver is currently one of my favorite actors and he's great here too as a Jewish officer tasked with physically being around a bunch of psychos. You legitimately feel anxious in these scenes where they're questioning him. 

Another thing Lee did that I found interesting was the way he shot Driver and Washington when they were sharing the screen. I felt like Driver was always subtly out of frame. He'd have his back turned or would be in the background somewhere. Was it because they were both playing "Ron" at different times and he wanted to remind us all who the real Ron was? 

In my first draft of this review, I talked about what he does at the end of the film that really hits it home and had me walking out of the theater with tears in my eyes. But it's best not reading about it first. Just go in and feel... and take those feelings with you when you vote. 

Recommended: Yes

Grade: A

Memorable Quote: "Did you get that?" - Ron Stallworth (John David Washington)

19 comments:

  1. How is Topher Grace? I liked him ever since That 70s show

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    1. He was good. His face in his character's final scene is glorious.

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    2. He was great as his face in the end did bring laughs at the screening I went to as I yelled DUMBASS! at him which brought even more laughs.

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  2. Great review here. For me, this movie came down to those last five minutes. I mean wow, what power. It makes me hope for a Spike documentary about everything we're living in now. His docs always carry so much emotional weight.

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    1. He'd be the perfect director for something like that. I agree that it's the ending that really elevates it. I actually didn't care much for the beginning of the film but the final product really brought it up.

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  3. Right now for me, this is the best film of 2018 so far as it did what it needed to do and not be afraid to confront the horrors that we're living in and how little things have changed from what was happening in the 1960s and 1970s to what is happening now.

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    1. It's definitely on my Top 10 List at the moment too.

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  4. The end really got to me, but the whole film is peppered with hints of what's to come. So good.

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  5. Interesting! I didn't realize the back-turning thing

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    1. It really stuck out to me in the scene where he's calling Grace's character at the end to fuck with him. Everyone else but Driver is facing the camera.

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  6. Planning on seeing this over the weekend. I'll be back (said in my best Ah-nuld voice, of course).

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  7. This film sounds excellent and very thought provoking. i heard it is based on fact which makes it even more astounding. I find the KKK evil and they should be outlawed. Great review!

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    1. It is, and I can't believe I've never heard of this story until now. I feel like I've been saying that a lot recently.

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  8. Ahh this sounds incredible!! So intrigued about the ending now. Can't wait to see it.

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  9. Sorry I'm so late to your review, but I had to write mine first before I ventured out into the blogosphere. Great observation about how Driver and Washington are often shown. I didn't much notice it, but next time I watch this I'll be looking for it.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by! I'm glad you enjoyed this one too.

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