This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
miguel’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
The House That Jimmie Built > The House That Jack Built
The Last Black Man in San Francisco is a tale of two stories - one: a brutal tale of gentrification, the other: the coming of age of Jimmie Fails. Like all great films, The Last Black Man intertwines both these stories. To take away half of the story means you've missed an important half.
The story structure is somewhat akin to last year's Blindspotting. It's impossible to deny that the screenplay meanders a little, but due to the beauty of the cinematography, the comedic elements, and the attention grabbing performances from everyone, the film never becomes truly boring.
The message here isn't that Jimmie was in the wrong for holding on to his childhood home. The ending instead serves to show how brutal the effects of gentrification are. We are lead to believe that Jimmie Fails is the titular "Last Black Man in San Francisco", but the ending reveals a different story,
Perhaps then the story bits off more than it can chew. Sure, it's mostly about gentrification, but it's also an ode to what we call home and what that means. Jimmie isn't depicted as someone who is immature, he's depicted as someone lost. Someone who is deeply unhappy, the house is just a larger metaphor.
Whether it works at achieving all these goals, that's up to the viewer. Personally, I really enjoyed it. 4/5.