Katherine Bigelow brings the true events of the 1967 Detroit riots to the screen and tells the story about the monstrous and terrible act that took place at the Algiers Motel. Whether you know or not what happened during this horrible time in history, Bigelow shows the seriousness and disadvantage black people had during that time and place. It is intense to see the riots escalate and also difficult to witness on screen the point of no return that will probably stick with me for a long time.
Detroit stars John Boyega as Dismukes, a man called in to be a security guard to a building near the motel during the riots to make sure nothing happens to it and becomes witness to everything that explodes during the hold up where a group of African-Americans and two white women are held hostage by the police, specifically three patrolmen led by Krauss (Will Poulter) who is sort of a dirty cop but in the end has a heightened hatred for black people and will believe the worst in them while on duty.
Movies like Detroit for me are complex for me when it comes to making an opinion about. My specific blog that is based on the value of entertainment regardless of accuracy or realism, I want to have fun and walk out in a good mood when I’m done. It’s just how I like to go to the movies. There is no question that this movie is good and gut wrenching. Bigelow will bring out an angry and frustrated emotions out of you that you can’t really say that this movie wasn’t done well. However, if you are like me, it’s hard to watch stories like these play out and you will not be in a good mood when the movie is over.
This movie is not in any way made to make you hate white people or the police.
The acting from Will Poulter is phenomenal. That is because I hated him so much with every word spoken, each smirk, and with each sinister act done by his character from the start to the end. The other supporting cast includes Anthony Mackie as one of the hotel guest caught in the crossfire, because we have to have at least one actor who has played a superhero in each movie from now on. I am sure it’s because Mackie and Bigelow worked together in The Hurt Locker as well. Jacob Latimore (Sleight), Algee Smith (The New Edition Story), Jason Mitchell (Straight Outta Compton), and a now grown Walter “Walt” Lloyd from Lost Malcolm David Kelley. All of them did an incredible job acting out these scenes.
Of course, this movie is not 100% accurate so not everything you see happened. Also make sure to be patient to get to the part of the story of the hold up, a big portion of the movie depicts the level of intensity regarding the riot and how it affected the city of Detroit. It might seem a bit time consuming but it’s getting there. Each person who randomly ends up in this terrifying situation are all there to try to make light of a horrible situation and stay away from the riots the best way they can. Some of them with dreams and others just having fun while others just trying to live day by day, the set up leading to the motel is essential not only to set the mood but to also show you how important it is to know the level of hatred and power the police have towards the black community. This movie is not in any way made to make you hate white people or the police. I didn’t get that feeling at all and hopefully you do to. This is just a view of what it is like back in 1967 and ironically what is going on right now.
At a time now where the world is dealing with a lot of violence towards black folks and other people of color, this movie is a reminder that even though things regarding racism may not be as bad as it once was when we had slavery for instance, that we as a country are not done working on how we perceive people based on the color of their skin. This issue is far from being solved. Yes, we had a black man become President of the United States but that doesn’t mean racism is over. As the world changes and functions different, racism wasn’t left in the dust, racism has altered itself to fit the now changed world we live in. It’s still around and while bluntly in your face it is still hard for people to see the damage it is doing to the human race.
I do recommend this movie but this movie will not leave you in a good mood once it is done. This movie is for people who like the serious tone in their movie watching and want to escape from all the animated movies and superhero fantasy that have swept over Hollywood right now. Which is a funny sentence to say that people might need a movie to escape from escapism. I don’t think I would be in the mood to watch this again but I am glad that I saw it. This isn’t a theatre movie that needs to be watched right away but if you have the money, go see this feature.
4 out of 5
What are your thoughts on the film. Did you enjoy it? How did it make you feel? Comment below your opinion on the movie and the review. Thanks for reading and see you at the movies.