xavier’s review published on Letterboxd:
What a colossal disappointment. How does one go from making Blackklansman, a movie that subtly uses issues and events of the past to comment on our current society, to making a movie that does the same thing except just shoves it down your throat the entire runtime.
Everything about this seems so rushed. It’s extremely ugly, it has the cinematography and color palette of a Hangover movie. Every dialogue scene is shot reverse shot until your brain melts. I felt nothing for the characters, because I barely knew anything about them despite the movie being two and a half hours long. It expects you to give a shit about the shoehorned love interest. The editing is messy. The production design is not good, they’re literally the same age in the flashbacks that they are in the current year, they made no effort, not even changing facial hair or anything.
The action scenes, which are kind of important in a war movie, have no weight or consequence to them. This isn’t helped by the generic floaty MARVIN GAYE soundtrack that could not fit less with the vibe of what’s happening on the screen.
The political messaging over all is ok, I really liked how it consistently showed photos of and educated the audience on real life events. Though there are quite a few moments where it feels like they’re just trying to check a box of what to cover, its like “oh we said the words school shooting. I think that’s enough activism for today” It is an extremely timely movie though, it fits perfectly in the discourse occurring around the world at the moment. I also liked the end credits homage to old war movies where it shows all of the characters and the names of the actors that played them.
Every single point of tension and conflict is contrived as shit. There literally wouldn’t be any reasonable conflict with a good setup until an hour and a half into the movie if they didn’t try to force it in.
This movie could easily lose 15 minutes if they just cut some shots earlier, it’s really not THAT bloated but it feels like such a fucking chore to watch when everything necessary happens in a scene but it holds on it for another 30 seconds.
I’m beginning to develop the same scorn for Spike Lee that I harbor for M. Night. Both butchered a remake of something I love (Oldboy and ATLA) then made a good movie which gave me hope (Blackklansman and Split) and then made absolute shit immediately after (Glass and this movie)
I so deeply regret staying up until 2 am to watch this. I recommend everyone watch the opening montage of this movie (which is great) and then turn it off, save yourself about 2 hours and 25 minutes.
Edit: To anyone saying them being the same age in the flashback is intentional or in any way a stylistic choice, Spike Lee literally said they were just not given the money to de-age.