Side note: before we start I’d like to apologize for not keeping on schedule after specifically promising to stay on schedule. Expect posts every other day from now on.
Detroit is based on the real life race riot that took place in the summer of 1967. The majority focuses on the Algiers motel incident, more details on that later. Going in my expectations were kind of in the middle. On one hand critics are praising it to high hell, on the other hand reactions range from its fine, to just racist. My opinion is somewhere between praising it to high hell to its fine. As always no movie is without its flaws so let’s get into it.
To understand the movie you need a little bit of background knowledge on how the riots started because the movie doesn’t do a good job of it. the riot started when police raided a bar hosting a party for black war veterans who had just returned from Vietnam. A crowd began to gather as the police arrested everyone attending the party. One of the people in the crowd threw a bottle which sparked the riot. Now with that out-of-the-way I can finally type up the actual description.
Like I said the movie focuses on the Algiers motel incident where racist cops brutally beat nine people. I’ll refrain from saying much more than this because anymore could be considered spoiling even though it’s based off a real event.
For being used for most of the marketing you’d think John Boyega (Star wars just Star Wars what else would have more screen time but nope he had about a half hour out of a 2 hour and 22 minute movie. He was great for what little he was in but again his appearance here is very brief so if you’re seeing the movie only because of him maybe think twice about seeing it. Anthony Mackie (the avengers series,The Night Before) is also in it and ditches his normal charming presence for a more grim one and it works for this movie he give a great performance. One of the standouts here is Algee Smith who gives an incredible performance for someone who’s never acted in a movie before. But for me the true standout here was Will Poulter (We’re The Miller, The Revenant, The Maze Runner) who gives a chilling performance as the ring leader of the racist cop. I haven’t hated a character this much since Jake Johnson in The Mummy (read that review if you want more details, I am NOT going back down that infuriating rabbit hole).
Now before we get to the good I have to address the bad which there is quite a bit of. The movie is unnecessarily long it drags on for about 45 minutes longer than it needs to. I have nothing wrong with a long movie but when it’s long for the sake of being long it can really kill the pacing and tone of a movie, and that is unfortunate the case here. just when you think the movie is about to end it leads into act 3 which is the court trial. the other thing I must address is the animation at the beginning which looks like it’s animated by middle schoolers and is completely unnecessary. Once again the tone and pacing are completely killed and it’s a shame.
Now for the good which is the character development and the writing which are what keep this movie afloat. the way the movie tackles its difficult subject material is nothing short of masterful.
I’m not gonna lie this movie is hard to watch but is incredibly relevant this week. this weekend while I saw the movie the Charlottesville riot is going on and only bolstersDetroit’s relevance. While uneven Detroits message deserves to be heard.
I rate Detroit B- or 8.0