BlacKkKlansman

BlacKkKlansman ★★½

Blackkklansman is a film that has as many great qualities as it does disappointing ones. It is at times confronting, but unfortunately the potential overall impact is somewhat lessened by a wildly inconsistent tone, over-use of caricature and distinct lack of subtlety in communicating its message. I really wish Spike had a bit more faith in his audience, because I feel if this was steered with a gentler hand, it could have resulted in a far more powerful outcome.
The lead performances of Washington and Driver are excellent here, and I also liked Ryan Eggold, but their subtle work is off-set by almost cartoonish turns by the rest of the cast. The mish-mash of tone does not help the cause whatsoever. The blend of drama and comedy failed to grab me, I wish that Lee chose to play this one straight. Finally, the winking nods to modern day America, whilst remaining undoubtedly true, are still unnecessary, and left a sour taste in my mouth.
I want my art to be provocative, but I feel it needs to have a strong identity, something which Blackkklansman lacked. It didn’t really decide whether it wanted to a hard-hitting drama, a farcical satire, or a self-knowing abstract thinkpiece. As well made a film as it is, I felt it fell well short of its full potential, and this is what hurts the most.

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