WARNING: The following review contains spoilers, I’m telling you now so you don’t pretend to be outraged later.
This review is definitely going to ruffle some feathers, but it’s not like I have a track record of going easy on Hollywood anyway so why start here? I have debated watching Detroit all week because while I like the majority of the stars in the film (except Will Poulter, fuck that guy) I knew exactly what the narrative was and what it was trying to accomplish. Critics this week have walked on eggshells discussing this film because they know one wrong sentence and the fury of 1000 Twitter accounts will call for their heads and a side order of their ass. Now I’ve seen lot propaganda in films over the years, if it’s a line or two by the writer slipping in their personal beliefs, I won’t bother to make a deal about it because it honestly isn’t worth the time. The problem I have is films that use real events to manipulate their audiences to accept a reality that may or may not be true. Manipulation using emotion is one of the oldest and most effective plays in the book and what better topic to spark an emotional reaction than racism? It’s no coincidence that this film is out during a time where tension between law enforcement and the black community is at all-time highs and I’m sure this movie will do wonders for race relations between blacks and whites…
There have been some very unjust cases by police in the last few years like the Philando Castile case for example and honestly, there has been some very misleading stories driven by the media like the Michael Brown case that has led to violence and division in this country. So the question for me was whether I was going to entertain a film where the filmmakers themselves have admitted to taking poetic license in order to mold an opinion not based on fact but based on agenda. Now it’s important to note, I’m not trying to defend history. The thing I learned in college (outside of math, marketing, economics, and common sense) is that history is brutal and a lot of bad things happened to get us where we are today. While it’s important not to shadow history it’s also important to context the events to truly understand what happened and why. Many people will watch this and think everything that happened here happened in real life which is not the case at all. So this week I’ll defer to Steven Crowder for historical reference being his family was in Detroit when this happened. Now Crowder is a conservative Youtube host and I don’t share all of his opinions, the Atomic Blonde review from last week being an example, but I go to him for a different point of view and what is more important than his opinion of the film, which you can choose to agree or disagree with, is the context of the violence that crippled a city to this very day they have not recovered from and that’s the context you won’t get from watching Detroit.
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