JORDAN’s review published on Letterboxd:
“Don’t shoot! Don’t shoot!”
An impressive screenwriting debut from both Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal.
This film is here to say a few things about the world today. While maybe on the nose at times. One particular scene in which they explain the title to you. The message is still powerful none the less. How people see one thing but not the other. People see Diggs’ character: Collin, as a felon but he’s someone else too. This movie is all about perspectives and how most people tend to just stick with one and ignore others. It’s about racism really. It tackles issues way better than BlackkKlansman or Sorry to Bother You did. Two other movies from this year with similar themes.
Not only did Diggs and Casal write this but they also star as the leads. A pair of friends just trying to make a living in Oakland. One thing I like, is ways they present the story’s themes. One thing being a kale smoothie as symbolism. Collin gets to show his ex-girlfriend that he’s trying to live a better life. Eat healthier and things like that. Even though the smoothie is gross. Then later on, Casal as Miles drinks it and doesn’t think it’s gross. Miles has a bit of a temper, he’s that character in this type of film. Him liking the drink could maybe show how easy it is for him to change his ways.
However, it’s more difficult for Collin. Because the smoothie is gross. And because society is gross. Very profound statement there but the gist is, as he puts it. People just see a black man with braids. They what he’s done, they don’t see him anymore. I also love how they give Miles a family. His type of character, you’d just assume they write him without one. It provides many shades to him as a person. These two are very fleshed out characters. Something that the previous films lacked.
The film is also directed very nicely. This film is also really funny. When it’s not making you sweat through your shirt with it’s intensity. It’s making you laugh. Really makes you believe these two have been friends for years. The climax of the film, I could see it not working for some. Not sure if it fully worked for me. There is setup to it but it still felt out of left field.
Overall though, one of the better films I’ve seen from this year. This year hasn’t had any instant classics yet. Not to say it’s been a bad year for film, I’ve seen some great movies...
But 2018 cinema is no 2017 cinema.