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  • Entertainment

MOVIE: Film tackles race relations in America 

Wednesday, 22nd August, 2018 7:00pm
MOVIE: Film tackles race relations in America 
MOVIE: Film tackles race relations in America 

Paul O’Rourke

‘BlacKKKlansman’, the new movie from director Spike Lee, has been described by many as the most important film of the year - but is it any good?

Perhaps the first question to ask is: since when did a film’s importance have anything to do with whether audiences like it or not? Surely the only things that matter are: does it keep you guessing if it’s a thriller, keep you laughing if it’s a comedy or keep you on the edge of your seat if it’s an action movie. More importantly, is it entertaining?

‘BlacKKKlansman’ tells the true story of Ron Stallworth (John David Washington), the first African-American detective to serve in the Colorado Springs Police Department. Stallworth soon sets himself a mission to infiltrate and expose the Ku Klux Klan, and recruits his colleague, Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver), to help. This leads both men down a dangerous path with Klan leader David Duke (Topher Grace) and his followers, who are never far away from suspecting that there may be undercover cops in their midst.

The basic premise of this film would be ludicrous if it was not true. Stallworth sees a KKK recruitment ad in the local newspaper and calls, assuming a white man’s voice (whatever that is?). When a meeting is subsequently suggested, he sends his colleague Flip (who is white) in his place. The fact that Flip sounds different in person was apparently lost on the KKK. It also never occurred to the police that it would make more sense for Flip to make the calls (there are many).

This may sound like a small point but it actually causes problems with the tone of the film. It really can’t decide if it’s a drama or a comedy and some of the laughs consequently seem out of place.

This isn’t a terrible film, but it’s not amazing either. However, much like ‘Black Panther’, another overrated film, it’s being heralded as a masterpiece. It seems critics have stopped reviewing the movie and instead are reviewing the cause. Make up your own mind. 

We award it a review score of 2 average stars.

Other releases: ‘The Spy Who Dumped Me’ - 3 stars.

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