A black cop joins the KKK.
For Spike Lee, something about the Trump era “has brought the old mojo flooding back,” said Phil De Semlyen in TimeOut.com. The director’s latest film is “riotous fun one minute, savagely biting the next” as it revisits the true story of Ron Stallworth, a black cop in 1970s Colorado Springs who mounted an improbable undercover operation after calling up a local Ku Klux Klan chapter and hate-talking his way in. “As is often the case with Spike’s joints, the storytelling can be uneven,” said A.A. Dowd in AVClub.com. The screenplay delivers more speeches than suspense, even after John David Washington’s Stallworth enlists a white Jewish colleague, played by Adam Driver, to handle the face-to-face undercover work. Still, the film scores some big laughs, and “it’s undeniably exciting to see Lee make something this incensed again.” He surely misses few chances to link his period tale to the Trump-sanctioned current rise of white supremacy activism, said Stephanie Zacharek in Time.com. The film’s David Duke, played with “reptile-dry” charm by Topher Grace, at one point declaims, “It’s time for America to show its greatness again.” But Lee isn’t just angry. “To be heartbroken by your country, you have to love it,” and “BlacKkKlansman is Lee’s anguished message of love.” ■