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Film Review: ‘BlackKkKlansman’ is a Spike Lee Joint That Burns

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CHICAGO – Director Spike Lee has hit the motherlode in good timing of the kind that says “Everything Old is New Again.” His overview in the true story of a black man that went undercover within the Klu Klux Klan in the 1970s nicely mirrors our current president’s divisiveness in the incendiary “BlacKkKlansman.”

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.5/5.0
Rating: 4.5/5.0

Going back to the days of natural afros and Motown funk, Lee steers a strong cast – including John David Washington (son of Denzel) as the title character – into a crazy ride of subterfuge and exposure of a hate group that was still incredibly influential during that era. The story, according to Lee, is (asterisks theirs) “crazy, outrageous fo’ real, fo’ sh*t” truth, as a black rookie cop makes a call to the KKK, and sends a white colleague to represent the false character he had convinced them wants to be a new member. The film has humor, action and edge-of-your-seat consequences, and then reminds us unerringly that this hatred is still present in our society, which breeds the contempt of Donald J. Trump. The veteran director, who also aided in adapting the screenplay, still proves there is fire in his belly as a creative force.

Ron Stallworth (John David Washington) becomes the first African American cop in Colorado Springs, Colorado during the early 1970s. Frustrated with the desk work they initially give him, he applies for and gets undercover assignments. On a whim, he calls the local chapter of the Klu Klux Klan – who had been terrorizing the town of late – and asks to become a member. To his surprise, he is accepted.

But obviously he can’t show up for the meetings, so a white Jewish colleague named Flip (Adam Driver) is recruited to represent Ron at the gatherings. The assignment gets even more unhinged when the KKK leader, David Duke (Topher Grace) takes an interest in Ron’s enthusiastic desire for membership. As the Klan becomes suspicious, the infiltration becomes more dangerous.

“BlacKkKlansman” opens everywhere on August 10th. Featuring John David Washington, Adam Driver, Alec Baldwin, Topher Grace, Harry Belafonte, Ashlie Atkinson and Corey Hawkins. Screenplay adapted by Spike Lee, Kevin Willmott, David Rabinowitz and Charlie Wachtel. Directed by Spike Lee. Rated “R”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “BlacKkKlansman”

Pride & Power: John David Washington and Laura Harrier of ‘BlacKkKlansman’
Photo credit: Focus Features

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “BlacKkKlansman”

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