This dramatization of a major incident of police brutality that took place during the 1967 Detroit riots starts off strong. It has great period detail in recapturing the Motor City in its roiling state of anxiety and resentment- an image of a great city on the verge of combustible catastrophe. A growing sense of anger and lawlessness is well-captured here. Furthermore, the film boasts vivid performances by an exceptional ensemble cast. Will Poulter is a standout as a violent, psychopathic police officer who cannot subtract his personal prejudices from the line of duty. John Boyega is also effective as a private security guard who makes a good faith effort to keep the peace but soon finds himself questioning his own judgment. Unfortunately, where the film goes wrong is its decision to have a key police interrogation and torture sequence go on so interminably and so relentlessly that ironically the film loses its power and emotional grip in the process. The evil that is portrayed here goes from convincing to almost cartoonish. A viewer might be forgiven for no longer having their head in the film once the narrative finally moves on. Although no one can accuse this film of having the wrong intentions, it becomes so overheated in its depiction and so didactic in its approach that it becomes a textbook example of cinema where less could have been more. Perhaps less hand-wringing and more tonal balance would have made this a more potent film. But subtlety is not the word here. This is not to say that all was lost. The film goes on to have quite a heartfelt, anguished conclusion and offers a cautionary word that the law and not reason is sometimes the biggest weapon. However, a better work would have left some room for debate instead of trying to pound its audience into submission. Not recommended.
Loading, please wait
Fact-based drama set during the 1967 Detroit riots in which a group of rogue police officers respond to a complaint with retribution rather than justice on their minds.
Downloaded 743,259 times
April 6, 2019