Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman is an extremely well-crafted film with a balance of suspense, humor, and political tenacity only the best films can hope to achieve.
John David Washington (son of Denzel) plays Ron Stallworth, the first black cop in Colorado Springs, who seeks to expose the Klan from the inside and thwart a radical plan from a couple of its rogue members. To do this Stallworth receives help from Jewish detective Flip Zimmerman, played by Adam Driver. The backbone of this movie is its performances. You have a very likeable John David Washington as the lead protagonist, a riveting Adam Driver, and a supporting cast (specifically regarding some of the actors who portrayed Klan members) who do these two primary performances justice. And part of what helped create these great performances is the film’s forceful dialogue, reminding me of Three Billboards in its dark, loud, and comedic nature; the movie’s comedy flows well with the script and is natural.
Another driving factor of the film’s success is its ability to capitalize on the element of suspense. Whether it be Ron and Flip almost getting caught sharing an identity or Ron avoiding telling his girlfriend (the head of the black student union) he’s a cop, the film finds ways to build in suspense in almost all of its scenes. It’s not a matter of whether or not they are caught but rather when and how will people react?
The work Spike, the writers, actors, and rest of crew put in have created such a well-rounded telling of Ron Stallworth’s incredible story. 8.5/10