Jesus wept, this looks incredible. And it’s based on a true story! And Jordan Peele is producing! Where do we even begin? Well, let’s start with the synopsis and work our way back.
“In the late ’70s Ron Stallworth (John David Washington, Ballers) becomes Colorado Spring’s first African-American police officer. On a whim, rookie Stallworth calls a number in a newspaper advertisement for the Ku Klux Klan and soon enough makes arrangements for a meeting. He gets fellow cop Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver, Paterson, Girls) to attend the meeting. Over the coming months, Stallworth conducts the investigation on the phone, while Zimmerman does all the personal interactions with the Klan members. All the while, the two cops know that they are taking a huge risk with the hateful, gun-wielding and potentially violent Klansmen.
“Spike Lee is in top form as he ratchets up the tension. While BlacKkKlansman plays as a highly entertaining cop thriller, Lee also finds room for humour and romance. He pays homage to Blaxploitation films, while referencing the impact of cinema on race relations from The Birth of a Nation to Tarzan to Gone with the Wind. It all comes together in a wildly entertaining package with serious punch.”
There’s a lot to get excited about here. Lee has still got it folks, even if his later films have been criminally underseen (see 2015’s Chi-Raq, currently available on Amazon Prime Video). BlacKkKlansman looks set to put the master of African American agitpop back on top – especially considering it just got a 10 minute standing ovation at Cannes.
Sydney folks can catch Spike’s latest incendiary joint when it hits the Sydney Film Festival. The rest of you can see it in cinemas from August 9, 2018.