BlacKkKlansman ★★★★

“Dis joint is based on some fo’ real, fo’ real shit.”

Crazzzzyyyy....In the 1970s, a black cop named Ron Stallworth (John David Washington) spotted an ad about joining the Ku Klux Klan - he called the number and used his "white voice" to fool the local chapter president into believing he was a white racist. He was then invited to meet members of the Klu Klux Klan, but obviously that was not going to work, so he had his white Jewish partner Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver) pose as him. Together, they did some undercover work to infiltrate the Klu Klux Klan.

The night before seeing BLACKKKLANSMAN, I revisited DO THE RIGHT THING. There were a couple callbacks in here to that flick - the final shot with the image of Malcolm X or Martin Luther King and their radically different responses to violence and nonviolence in the black freedom movement - which is your response to racism (Stallworth wrestles with these ideas). When Da Mayor tells Mookie to always "do the right thing", he replies with "I got it, I'm gone.", a line repeated by the Stallworth character. Oh, and "Wake up!"

Some moviegoers may not be in the mood for an angry Spike Lee film - in the waning days of summer, why not opt for a mindless giant shark flick? Go see this - it is an incredible story, it is downright hilarious, and deeply moving. I should also mention the OMG-dolly zoom, and Terence Blanchard's lush jazz-blues score. And the entire thing, at least on its surface level, is just fun and accessible. Of course, the film's message will give you lots to think about and you will have the important discussion that needs to be had.

The parallels between past and present are pretty much obliterated in the film's final moments - as the picture's central story ends, Spike Lee drops us into the now. There's no transition. You won't be ready for it even if you know it is coming. There was a pit in my stomach and I left the theater a complete mess.

BLACKKKLANSMAN is one of Spike Lee's best.