Total Film - - Contents -

Spike Lee re­turns with one of his blazing best, out now on DVD and Blu-ray.

film ex­tras OUT NOW DVD, BD, 4K, Dig­i­tal HD EX­TRAS Fea­turette

The true story of a black po­lice of­fi­cer who in­fil­trated the Ku Klux Klan in the ’70s is the ba­sis for Spike Lee’s most elec­tri­fy­ing film in years. A stylish and pacy hy­brid of cop thriller and satir­i­cal com­edy, BlacKkKlans­man might have a pe­riod set­ting, but Lee uses it to ad­dress prob­lems of to­day, in­clud­ing far-right views and po­lice bru­tal­ity.

John David Washington (son of Den­zel) makes for a charis­matic lead

as Ron Stall­worth, the Colorado Springs cop who calls in an­swer to a KKK re­cruit­ment ad, and sends his Jewish part­ner Flip Zim­mer­man (Adam Driver) in his place for in-per­son meets. Cue sweaty-palmed wire-wear­ing, lie de­tec­tor tests and shifty ex­changes.

Stall­worth’s un­der­cover ac­tiv­ity is fur­ther com­pli­cated by his re­la­tion­ship with stu­dent union pres­i­dent Pa­trice (Laura Har­rier), who de­spises “pigs”. And To­pher Grace de­serves spe­cial men­tion for his ter­rific turn as the KKK’s ‘grand wizard’ David Duke, whose aim is “for Amer­ica to achieve… its great­ness again”.

De­spite the height­ened style – with smokey blax­ploita­tion-es­que vi­su­als and a wail­ing gui­tar score – the gen­eral mood is one of dis­com­fort at the un­der­cover an­tics and the ab­hor­rent views on dis­play. The film’s ad­her­ence to the facts of the case has been ques­tioned, but that’s for­giv­able when Lee lands so many rel­e­vant and timely punches, not least a pow­er­house epi­logue that re­ally ham­mers the point home. Shame that the true story and themes aren’t ex­plored in more depth by the scant ex­tras. Matt May­tum

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