BlacKkKlansman is Black Powerful


All power to all people. All power to Spike Lee, a filmmaker who’s never given up despite being underestimated and overlooked for over a decade, his work either cast aside with the unruly umbrella of esoterica or dismissed outright as overstated polemics. All power to John David Washington, son of Denzel, who got out of bench-sitting in godawful games to follow in his father’s footsteps. All power to Adam Driver, not resting on his Kylo Ren laurels and pursuing work with the Spike Lees and Jim Jarmuschs of the world. All power to Laura Harrier, a young actress who smartly parlayed a thankless role in “Spider-man Homecoming” into this, one of the most talked-about films of the year. All power to Topher Grace, an actor adrift since that 70’s show, who took a risk portraying the former grand wizard of the white hoods and current Trump surrogate on the fringe. “BlacKkKlansman” is a black powerful true joint about Ron Stallworth, a black man who joined the Colorado Springs police department and eventually infiltrated and harangued their local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan with an ingenious tag-team undercover operation complete with “King’s English” phone calls and Driver’s White-Jewish Flip Zimmerman playing the face to those calls. Bad ADR and fuzzy exteriors be damned…this is Spike Lee’s best work since “Inside Man,” a righteous crusade against old ways that are new again, the rising tide of proto-fascism that only needed a familiar face and a suit to re-enter the mainstream. If you’re Joe moviegoer you’ll love the buddy cop comedy and almost-feel good ending. If you’re Joe cinephile, you’ll love the “Birth of a Nation” and “Gone With the Wind” takedown, stories which, in manners big and small, laid the foundation for so much of yesterday’s (and today’s) feckless tyranny. But no matter who you are, a stunning ending will leave you silent. “BlacKkKlansman” is a stunner.

Grade: A-

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