A police raid in Detroit in 1967 results in one of the largest RACE riots in United States history. The story is centred around the Algiers Motel incident, which occurred in Detroit, Michigan on July 25, 1967, during the racially charged 12th Street Riot. It involves the death of three black men and the brutal beatings of nine other people: seven black men and two white women.
I was really looking forward to this film as I am a big fan of Kathryn Bigelow as she is one of the few people in Hollywood actually tackling important topics but I walked out completely disappointed.
The mostly unknown actors were all exceptionally good and should have careers ahead of them. The Color grade, Casting, and lack of soundtrack was also very good. What was bad was the childish script which was filled with cartoonish stereotypes from every class, gender and color. I found myself cringing at how awful some of the dialogue was and the direction was pretty much a complete mess.
Anyone that is a fan of Bigelow's films knows that at some point she goes off on some tangent for 15 minutes but them usually rights the ship back on course. This entire film was off course from the opening 15 minutes which is just disarray (which I understand is part of the point) that goes on way too long and we learn nothing that drives the narrative along. The beatings were like seeing the equally awful Passion of the Christ... You get so desensitized by the constant beatings that you really don't care any more. The tacked on Penny Marshall-esque ending was filled with so much saccharine it could have induced a diabetic coma and did a complete injustice to The Dramatics. It was sad because I was really hoping for this to be an important film especially in the timeliness of this decade but instead it became a Lifetime Movie with over the top violence.
In the end I could have lived with the direction if there wasn't such a laughable script. How you take a topic like this and turn it into something that awful was truly amazing. Just present the story and you have a great film but instead you end up this disappointment
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