Daniel Cruse’s review published on Letterboxd:
Blindspotting is a refreshingly original, endearing, and thematically important take on a buddy comedy. And yes, some people might not consider it a buddy comedy but that categorization comes directly from Daveed and Rafael, and I laughed through so many scenes in this movie so I’d say it fits.
I was so annoyed that I missed this one in theaters, but I was in the process of moving away for college and I didn’t have the time. So today, I was grocery shopping and I bought this, Mandy, and Sorry To Bother You on blu-ray. As soon as I got home, I popped this one in and I was enthralled from the moment it started until the credits rolled.
Daveed Diggs is a performer I’ve looked up to for a long time, having seen his work in Freestyle Love Supreme, Hamilton, and the amazing experimental hip hop group Clipping. He brings his acting A-Game here and Rafael, Jasmine Cephas Jones, even Newman from Seinfeld all show out with great portrayals of wonderfully written characters. The story bounces through so many different tones and themes and morals and it’s hard to keep up until you step back and look at the whole picture. This is true for small details in the film, as well as larger narrative threads, like what the meaning of Blindspotting truly is. I figured it was a reference to Colin looking through the mirror of the moving truck as he witnessed a violent act early on in the film, but as it goes on, you come to understand the term differently and it adds layers and layers to the nuance of the film.
I had never seen any of Rafael’s previous work but I was really impressed with his acting. He sold Miles’ unhinged rage so well in the scenes where it was required but also he did a great job at getting across the relatable and fun side of Miles that Collin had grown up with and loved very much. Without the great chemistry between these two characters, the film would not have been as impactful. But these two writing the characters and developing them on their own terms elevated the performances to great heights and makes the narrative so easy to get into.
Blindspotting tackles gentrification, police brutality, race relations, friendships, romantic relationships, and the importance of seeing deeper than what is on the surface level when you look at somebody. It was so thematically rich and dense that I can’t even really put together thoughts on every feeling that I have.
The spoken word rap parts could have been incredibly off putting but Rafael and Daveed both flex their lyrical abilities and these moments are framed in such a way that they don’t take me out of the film at all, in fact, they caused me to pay much closer attention to what was being said. There were some really thrilling and surreal sequences as Colin battled various fears and paranoia throughout his story, and some intense moments where my heart completely stopped as I waited to see how these situations would resolve.
This film floored me and I don’t believe enough people are talking about it. It’s extremely important, an absolutely perfect companion piece to Sorry To Bother You, one of my other favorites of the year. I hope they don’t forget about Blindspotting when awards season rolls around.