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Review contains spoilers!
BlacKkKlansman is the second-best American theatrical film of 2018 (only Avengers: Infinity War is better). Ron Stallworth and Flip Zimmerman, a pair of very likeable police officers, mount a funny, tense, and ultimately successful operation against the KKK. It's immensely satisfying to watch white supremacists get repeatedly fooled and defeated. The film also contains some commentary on the American film industry's racist history, with 'The Birth of a Nation' in particular getting a much-deserved pasting. Terence Blanchard's score is a delight (I've listened to it over and over). Every actor gives a fine performance. Some people have taken issue with the movie's mainly positive portrayal of police, but as the director said, we need police. Police are human beings and there is nothing wrong with celebrating their contributions to society.
The 1970s setting is used to great effect (so many afros!). However, part of what makes the film great is that it has the guts to directly reference the Trump era, something no other narrative film has done (other than The Trump Prophecy). A theme of the film is that the Klan is attempting to make their ideas seem "respectable" so that they could one day seek political office. The film reminds you that American white supremacy is a deep-rooted problem with historical precedent.
The closest thing the film has to a weakness is the narrative function played by one character named Patrice. It's not bad, but her role amounts to dating Ron, temporarily breaking up with him, and getting saved by him from an assassination attempt, so the Patrice-centric parts of the film feel a bit more conventional-Hollywood than the rest of the movie.
The majority of the film lets you have your fun, giving you a respite from a world where a white supremacist is president of the United States by letting you spend time in a world where white supremacists are less powerful. But then the ending refuses to let you leave the theatre with a smile on your face and reminds you that there's work to be done. It's exactly the right choice, and the film should be commended for it.
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