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  1. Published on: 07/09/2018 10:36 PMReported by: Film Critic
    Plot: A newly recruited African-American Police officer tasks himself to infiltrate the local Ku Klux Klan with a help of a white colleague.

    It's not exactly been a successful time in recent years for director Spike Lee and his films.

    While he has been pretty active with his film-making, only a couple have been critical successes and it's fair to say none have been hits with the audience.

    However, the buzz it has been getting since its initial release at this years Cannes Film Festival back in May has been pretty strong. With the trailer leaving a lot of

    After now seeing it myself, it made it hard to get an instant reaction out of me, because it goes in so many different directions and is trying to cover multiple topics in both serious and comedic ways. For something that involves the Ku Klux Klan, that is a bold move to add some comedy into it.

    For the most part, the mix of comedy and serious drama does work. You're introduced to the characters well and you get to grips with the tone early on and therefore expect more comedy the further we go into the story. It develops nicely with some tense and funny set-pieces and I could feel passion in the craft of this story. But in the final act, I think it started to get a bit disjointed in its tone and is trying to force its themes rather than just present them in an entertaining way.

    It's a tough thing to accomplish. But thankfully, I feel he manages to pull it off nicely and I think Lee and his team did a good job with this.

    The performances on the whole were pretty strong. There were a fair amount of roles that were very well executed and they all made the most of their moments on screen. John David Washington leads the way. A new face for many people. But being the son of the great Denzel Washington will already give him a bit of reputation to match. I must say he was great in this. He really channeled his dads style and carried the film so well with a smooth and clinical style.

    Adam Driver was a wonderful choice and his growing chemistry with Washington was highly engaging and one of the films biggest strengths. That and a little bit of added support by Michael Buscemi made their scenes together rather memorable.

    There was also a real coming-of-age performance by Laura Harrier. After showing much promise in Spider-Man: Homecoming, Harrier showed a lot of maturity in her latest role.

    Other top supporting performances that are definitely worth mentioning are Corey Hawkins, Ryan Eggold, Paul Walter Hauser and especially Jasper Paakkonen and a career-changing performance by Topher Grace.

    Another notable strength is Lee's juggling of the two polarizing tones. He is precise in its execution. The whole story brews up nicely and towards the second act, there is a really powerful scene in the build-up to the final act that sneaked up on me and in the end felt rather overwhelming.

    But then after all hard work, the final act for me ends up being the films biggest negative. It manages to have a disappointing end to that build-up, slightly lose its way and almost takes me out of the film. But the shocking content at the very end did not detract my overall view on the film.

    Despite the ending not matching the rest of the film, I think it's a well constructed piece of work that I think many others will enjoy mainly due to the topical aspects its covering.

    It's definitely Spike Lee's best film since 2006's Inside Man. There are many strong performances, it is a movie that many will call important and I will not be surprised if it features in next years major awards.

    As for me, I really appreciated the craft and it is a well-made piece of work. Lee mastered the balance of comedy and serious really well.

    But while there are moments that will make you laugh. There is a part of you that will almost feel unsure how to feel due to the seriousness of themes.

    Also, the let-down of the finale to the story prevented me from it being one of this years best on my list. It's almost there. But it will certainly be on a lot of others.

    Rating: 7/10
     

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