It’s been a while since I saw a good Spike Lee joint and his latest flick is based on what he calls, “some fo’ real, fo’ real sh*t!”
In the late 1970s, Colorado Springs Detective Ron Stallworth, the “Jackie Robinson” of the Colorado Springs Police Department if you catch my drift, is chomping at the bit to make his mark on the force and he sets off a powder keg of an investigation when he finds contact information in the local paper and puts in a call to the local chapter of an organization that is very particular about its members. Ron Stallworth, an African-American police officer, launches an investigation into the Colorado Springs Chapter of the Ku Klux Klan.
His strategy? Establish contact with the chapter president over the phone, then when it is time to meet with the Klansmen-or as they like to call themselves, “The Organization”-his partner, Detective Flip Zimmerman, will meet with the chapter as Ron to infiltrate the chapter, gather information on any possible attacks on the black community and stop it from happening. The course of the investigation even lead to the encounter of none other than the Grand Wizard of the Klan-or as they prefer “National Director of the Organization”-David Duke himself.
This is essentially, the summarized plot of Spike Lee’s joint BlacKkKlansman, one of the most impeccable, stylish, methodical, intelligent, relevant films I have seen so far this year. Lee has probably delivered his best work to date since Do the Right Thing as BlacKkKlansman touches on political and societal topics that are as alive and thriving today as they were more than 50 years ago, if not more, and tells an unbelievable story with expert flair.
The way Lee told this story, the way the film echoed into what modern society in America has become and how the film touches upon the topics of policing in America, what it means to be black, the depiction of white privilege and white supremacy and how these themes have resonated into the modern American landscape, it’s practically genius! He wanted this film to be a movie for our time and he nailed it. Plain and simple.
Lee, Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz and Kevin Willmott adapted Stallworth’s book, recounting how he and his investigative team infiltrated and hoodwinked the Klan and successfully stopped some of their members from carrying out a heinous act and they did more than just alright with it. The skill that went into the writing of this picture? What more can be said than “right on!”
The cast was dynamite! John David Washington, Adam Driver, Topher Grace, Michael Buscemi, Laura Harrier, Corey Hawkins, Ryan Eggold, Jasper Pääkkönen, Paul Walter Hauser, Ashlie Atkinson, Ken Garito, Robert John Burke, Arthur J. Nascarella, Frederick Weller, Harry Belafonte, Alec Baldwin, top to bottom, this movie has an stellar cast of actors who are nothing short of terrific in their roles whether they chant black or white power in the film.
The style and detail that went into the production of this picture is phenomenal to say the least! Chayse Irvin’s cinematography is solid, the editing Barry Alexander Brown is superb, Terence Blanchard’s music is great, Curt Beech’s production design is outstanding, Marci Mudd’s art direction is fantastic, Cathy T. Marshall’s set decoration is great and I loved the costumes of Marci Rodgers.
If you were like me and have been anticipating BlacKkKlansman for months, I can assure you that you will not be disappointed in the slightest! Spike Lee’s new joint should be heralded as his greatest achievement to date and should rest at or near the top of the better films of 2018.