Welcome to this written review exclusive to TalkingMovies.ca. Today, you’re going to read about my thoughts on BlacKkKlansman.
BlacKkKlansman is the true story of Ron Stallworth, an African American police officer from Colorado Springs, CO that successfully infiltrated the local Ku Klux Klan branch with the help of a Jewish surrogate who eventually becomes their leader. BlacKkKlansman stars John David Washington (Ballers) as Ron Stallworth, Adam Driver (Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Awakens) as Flip Zimmerman, Topher Grace (That 70’s Show) as David Duke, and Ryan Eggold (The Blacklist) as Walter Breachway. It’s written by Charlie Wachtel and Spike Lee and is directed by Spike Lee.
It should be mentioned that this story is based on Ron Stallworth’s book Black Klansman: A Memoir. That said, the movie takes a few artistic liberties with the source material. For one, the movie takes place in 1972, despite the events taking place in 1979. Does that matter? Not really, but just one of the few changes they made.
This movie has some amazing acting and a really tight story. John David Washington is an extremely talented actor, and shows a lot of comparison to his dad (the amazing Denzel Washington). His emotion range is put on display in the movie, and he knocks it out of the park. There’s a particularly powerful scene in which Ron Stallworth acts as a security guard during David Duke’s visit to Colorado Springs, where in Washington, who plays Ron Stallworth, portrays a character pulled apart by responsibility and self. Topher Grace does a fantastic job as David Duke playing a bit of an aloof goofy character, but simultaneously a man seething with hate. Topher Grace said in a few interviews after playing Duke that he was so depressed, that he took on the project of editing the three Hobbit movies into a single two hour movie as an act of catharsis.
There were moments where my jaw was on the floor with how incredible this story was, that I often needed to remind myself that this story was true. It’s a powerful movie that was made during a time of racial strife in the United States. BlacKkKlansman was just finishing editing when the events of Charlottesville, NC took place that ultimately took the life of Heather Heyer. This film was dedicated to her honour.
There is no doubt in my mind why this movie was nominated for Best Picture at the 2019 Academy Awards. Spike Lee is incredibly talented and directed an amazing film. There were very few things about this movie that I disliked, and the only real gripes I have is that there are events in this movie that seem significantly sped up, and a director trademark scene near the end that seemed shoehorned in.
This movie is absolutely worth your time.
I give BlacKkKlansman an A.