By Megan Bianco
As summer winds down and everyone goes back to their usual weekly schedules, the movie season ends on a rather serious note. Not to say Spike Lee’s new movie BlackKklansman is a serious drama. On the contrary, it’s rather hilarious with its satire and wit. But when you go to the movies right before school begins again, you’re probably not expecting a history lesson on mid-20th century bigotry in Middle America with a scarily relevant final sequence.
Right now, we have a feature based on the true story of police officer Ron Stallworth (played by John David Washington), who became the first black cop in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in 1972. His desired position is in undercover assignments and he takes it upon himself to research the Black Panther Party and Ku Klux Klan sectors in the city. Ron’s partner in the KKK case is officer Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver), and David Duke (Topher Grace) is the main man in charge of the group. He’s a big fan of “separate, but equal” philosophies and the slogan “America First.” At the same time, Ron also becomes acquainted with black student union president Patrice Dumas (Laura Harrier), whose mantra is “all power to all people.”
BlackKklansman is completely lacking in subtlety, subtext and metaphors. It’s just all-out blunt and transparent with its theme and tone, with every offensive slur imaginable. And if you’re familiar with Spike Lee’s career, this is exactly what you would expect. Sometimes, you just need to have things spelled out in front of you, and this is one of those times. Driver and Grace are stellar with their portrayals, and Washington gives a fine debut lead performance.