Sheryl J. Bize-Boutte
I was beyond curious about this movie for two reasons: 1) two of my favorite star ladies are in it, Janelle Monae and Gabourney Sidibe; and, 2) it has gotten absolutely horrible reviews.
So, of course, I paid the $20 to watch it.
I was surprised. And not so surprised.
I was surprised by the powerful message buried within a terrible script overlaid by an equally terrible music score. The movie had something to say about the times we are living in, the price, the pain and the glory of activism, and the ongoing fight to eliminate the lurking continuing threats to the everyday lives of Black people in this country.
I was not surprised by the fact that even with the powerhouse talent in the movie, the producers could not deliver the story through speech, action, background or meaning. Instead they relied on over the top violence, which we all know did happen, but this movie seemed saturated with it, removing all agency from the characters. This is an example of how cultural appropriation results in shallowness and in this case, cinematic failure.
If one gets distracted by the junk of this production, the important and timely messages of the film could easily be lost in its murky presentation and obvious lack of understanding of the subject matter, which also contributes to its waste of the brilliance of Monae and Sidibe as well as other supporting cast members. However, there is a message worth knowing in this movie.
I suggest that you not miss what it reveals.
Just wait until it’s free.