What can I say about the Klu Klux Klan that hasn't been said before? They're an awful group that only exists for the point of hurting people. This is a group that I don't like talking about as it's painfully obvious why everyone should have a problem with them. I'm still baffled that they even have a platform in 2018. The good news is that they are not popular, have been barred from most social media, and are met by an army of counter protesters when they march. The other good thing is that they are more bark then bite. That is except from the Charlottesville Unite the Right Rally in 2017, where one woman was killed in a vehicle ramming.
I won't deny that we still have racists, bigots and white supremacists. But I also won't deny that as people, we've done well in moving forward in blurring that line of intolerance. We're always going to have disagreements, but the further we go, the more we as people can experience more love then anger. I'm glad there aren’t that many people dumb enough to be registered members of the Ku Klux Klan and if BlacKkKlansmanshows anything, that they'll always have a negative image.
In 1972, Ron Stalworth (played by John David Washington) is the first black detective for the Colorado Springs police. Like a lot of places, he does face prejudice from fellow officers and is sent to records. When he stands his ground and request to go undercover, he's given an assignment to a black student union rally that's being held by Patrice Dumas (played by Laura Harrier). This goes well enough for him to be reassigned to intelligence. It's here where Ron places a call to the local president of the Ku Klux Klan and asks to join (given their on the phone, they have no idea he's black).
Though baffled by this, the chief agree to let Ron keep going, though someone has to go in Robert T. Nickerson his place. Detective Flip Zimmerman (played by Adam Driver) is thus tasked with meeting the Klan members to clarify his Caucasian race. While Flip continues to infiltrate the meetings to note whose in the group, Ron continues to make constant phone calls asking about upcoming events for potential attacks. At one point, he even talks to Grand Wizard of the Klan, David Duke (Played by Topher Grace).
I have to give director Spike Lee credit for creating a lot of style in BlacKkKlansman. Though this could have easily been presented as a typical, Oscar-style drama. Instead,BlacKkKlansmanis more of a comedic, Blaxploitation film that you'd expect out of the seventies. This could fit well along with Shaft, Cleopatra, and Superfly(there's a great moment where those movies are brought up for a discussion about black cops). The film's subject matter is still serious, but given that you see some of these characters have fun with the ridiculous setup that was a real investigation (the real Ron Stalworth even wrote the novel that was the basis).
Though he doesn't look much like his father Denzel Washington, John Davis Washington does contain that same charisma. While he does also carry that fear that the Klan could kill his friend Adam Driver, he has a confidence that lets him have enough that he's having as much fun as we are. The movie's focus on his struggle between inequality and maintaining the image of the police is fascinating. Yes, he has degenerates that make fun of him and a girlfriend whose convinced that all cops are bad, but he never lets any of the ideology get in the way of his goal.
The best parts of the movie come whenever Ron has to phone in and interact with members of the Klan or David Duke. It's comedic goal to see a group of people that hate a race only to be blindsided by a black man who takes this in complete joy. It's something I haven't seen since Cleavon Little in Blazing Saddles. If there was anything to criticize is the ending montage that pays tribute to the victims of the Charlottesville attack. Not that I don't disagree with that, but given how the film already has an ending with the main characters and their continuing fight against prejudice, this seems tacked on and forced, as it's dramatic dark tone doesn't match the rest of the movie.
I'll give this four and a half Klan hoods out of five. This film isn't looking to take sides of a political spectrum, but rather present a historical event with a comedic tone. If the movie trailer didn't persuade you, then your not going to like this. I had fun and I think a lot of people will too. Join the group of movie fans and go see this.