By: Movie Snurb (Two Beers) –
In 1967 Detroit was ready to explode. It’s a predominantly black community, but patrolled by a mostly white police force who abuse this community with a multitude of arrests and constant abuse and harassment. One night the cops arrest several black people with BS charges and the city loses it. A large riot breaks out bad enough to call in the National Guard. After three days of rioting things come to a head at the Algiers Motel. A man pops off some shots with a starter pistol to mess with the cops and guard. Unfortunately, they messed with the wrong police. Three Detroit police officers enter the annex of the motel to figure out who was shooting. Things blow up in the annex and it’s hard to watch.
Kathryn Bigelow is still at the top of her game with this film. She is a master at creating tension. This film is like a rubber band pulled as tight as it can be until it snaps. With every scene the tension only keeps building. You’ll spend half of this film white-knuckling it on the edge of your seat. If there was any director who could tell this story right, like watching a man on a high wire, it could only be Bigelow. I cannot wait to see what dramatic story of American history she decides to make next.
The acting is stellar in this film. Everyone in their role, big and small, knocks it out of the park. John Boyega is great as the security guard who doesn’t seem to fit in with the police and guards or the community. Will Poulter is the big stand out in this film. He has the look of a boy scout, but underneath is a deep-seated racist with only hateful feelings. Will has come a long way since his turn as a bashful teenager in We Are the Millers. I won’t be surprised if he has a slew of offers after this film. I only wish we could’ve seen what Will could’ve done as Pennywise in the upcoming IT remake. I’d expect nothing less from a Kathryn Bigelow film, and this cast still exceeded expectation.
A few times this movie almost goes over the top with its dramatics. It was hard not too since some of facts of this fateful night are still debated. However, these dramatics almost became preachy, especially the scene inside the recording studio. It seemed to be forced and didn’t add to the story telling.
With such a talented filmmaker and cast of actors in this film Detroit doesn’t become a cheesy mess. It’s a powder-keg that is ready to blow for two and a half hours. Kathryn Bigelow proves she is one of the best directors in the business and uses her talent to tell an important story of a dark spot in American history.
Detroit (2017) Movie Review
Take a Drink: every time a shot rings out.
Take a Drink: every time you begin to feel too tense.
Do a Shot: every time real footage is shown.
Smash a Beer: because all of American history isn’t all rainbow and smiles.