BlacKkKlansman ★★★½

Not gonna lie, I had super high expectations for this. I'm a huge fan of Lee and would love to see him back on top but I would pick Chiraq as a better comeback film. I'm not saying Klansman is bad. It's a very emotionally charged mixture of genres (comedy, biopic, thriller). I cried twice and am not mad about it. At the same time, this movie is kind of basic. It's got its Spike Lee directing flourishes (which comes with Spike Lee heavy-handedness which I'm down with), but the story is very straightforward and lacks depth with all its characters. Washington's Ron looks like a cool soul brother but we know virtually nothing about his background. Why is here? What are his motivations? Why does he have this distinctive voice? Chiraq is wild and experimental, while messy is at least being bold. There are scenes in this movie that could be written for any movie.

This is mid range Lee for me. I'm glad this is accessible for the mainstream and good for people to see. Lee's "wake-up" messaging has yet to become less relevant which is why he's chosen to become less and less subtle. The movie works, it just doesn't "wow".

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