Spike Lee's take on the "Son of Sam" murders in New York City during the summer of 1977 centering on the residents of an Italian-American Northeast Bronx neighborhood who live in fear and distrust of one another.
Strike is a young city drug pusher under the tutelage of drug-lord Rodney Little, who, when not playing with model trains or drinking Moo for his ulcer, just likes to chill with his brothers near the benches outside the project houses. When a night man at a fast-food restaurant is found with four bullets in his body, Strike's older brother turns himself in as the killer. Det. Rocco Klein doesn't buy the story, however, and sets out to find the truth, and it seems that all the fingers point toward Strike & Rodney.Written by
Michael Silva <email@example.com>
spike lee "joint"? police procedural? Clockers brings the best of both worlds
When Spike Lee applies his formidable talents to a genre piece like Richard Price's best selling drug noir novel, "Clockers," you might wonder what kind of hybrid you'll get. Lee is justly famous for his incendiary agitprop films of ideas which dissect race relations and urban living, sometimes at the expense of cohesive storytelling; but working with source material as thought provoking a novel as "Clockers," which is set in Lee's home base of "Crooklyn," er, i mean Brooklyn, Spike finds the right mix of action, angst, and intellectualism for his strengths to shine. "Clockers" are petty drug dealers who work around the clock pushing their wares. When one turns up dead and a stand up citizen steps up to take the fall, a homicide detective begins unraveling the complex dynamics of life and dealing in the 'hood. Lee gets his usual gritty street landscape to work with and Price gets a director with a cinematic eye (thanks to standard Lee lens-er, Malik Hassan Sayeed)and a playwright's heart. Central character brothers Isaiah Washington and Mekhi Phifer (in his star making role) turn in complex credible performances but are easily outshone by the astonishingly strong acting out of Harvey Keitel, Delroy Lindo, Regina Taylor (who won awards for her work here), Keith David, and Lee regulars John Turturro and Thomas Byrd. Lindo is particularly impressive. This film may have been too gritty for general audiences with its brutal depiction of urban violence and emotional brutality. And it may have been a bit too stylized for the Saturday night drive-in set wanting a brainless shoot 'em up; but for those interested in quality film making on a hugely important issue that also functions as an engaging who done it, Spike Lee does it up royal in this, perhaps Lee's most, accessible film.
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