Jungle Fever ★★★★

I might be a bit of a Spike apologist but I was still taken aback by how much I dug this. Its reputation (both in terms of content and criticism of it) resulted in me being hesitant going into this, and while I acknowledge that it certainly has its flaws I still found a lot to like. This might be the most stacked cast Spike Lee has ever assembled, with so many wonderful actors doing really good work here (with Sam Jackson being a standout). Your mileage may vary regarding the level to which this is filled with a multitude of narrative threads, themes, and subjects, but I really admired the attempt to deal with all of these different ideas even if they never fully coalesce in a cohesive manner. And honestly, it's maybe all the better for it. I'd rather see Spike being messy and struggling to fit in all of these difficult topics than settling for something easy, the chaos and convolution is part of what makes him a great filmmaker. Oh and I'm really glad I saw this on a print too. Compared to some clips that I've seen online, it looks so much warmer and textured on film. All in all a beautifully rendered and ambitious piece of melodrama, even if it never fits together cleanly, and even despite that terrible final scene.

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