2017. Directed by Kathryn Bigelow.
By Brian Wallinger.
Kathryn Bigelow, known for films such as The Hurt Locker and cult classics such as Point Break and Near Dark, delivers a noble attempt to recreate the 1967 Detroit Riots that regrettably ends up becoming a movie that is filled with incoherent nothingness.
On paper, Detroit sounds intriguing. A story about the Algiers murders during the riots. However, the execution leaves a lot to be desired as the narrative is bogged down by cliche and stereotypes. What begins as an opportunity filled with potential to enact positive change slowly devolves into Oscar bait.
Bigelow is an excellent director, a female icon of which more are needed. With that said, this film is a political exercise that provides material through conflict and only tells us what one may already know. Racism is very real. It's everywhere. John Boyega and Will Poulter provide some positive light to the structure of the film by giving performances that enhance these ideas. The script, written by Mark Boal feels very thin and unbalanced while the cinematography provided by William Goldenberg is another highight.
In the end, Detroit is a film that had everything and lost itself to genre pastiche and tired Hollywood constraints. If the film had been about a racist cop in 2017 it probably could have gone the distance.