Do the Right Thing (1989) – 4/5

Hmm. Not quite what I was expecting, then again, this is Spike Lee. The film is a racial parable of sorts that raises many questions and gives very few, if any, answers, though I have my opinions.

The first hour and a half plays like a wacky comedy, which is what threw me off initially. I had expected a semi-serious take on race for some reason, but all illusions were shattered by the film’s inclusion of a weird music video of sorts at the beginning that features an attractive woman in tight clothing and boxing gloves dancing to rap. That was unexpected. Not really sure what Spike was going for there.

Anyway, so the film is wacky throughout and quite funny, then something happens near the end that shifts the tone 180 degrees, and suddenly, it’s like something out of an intense and somewhat disturbing drama. Yikes.

Still, it was very entertaining and well made, though Spike making himself the main character was a bit self-indulgent as he can’t really act. Everyone else is great though: you don’t see that kind of natural back and forth in films anymore, not as often anyhow. And the story was unique and well put together, even with the strange tonal shift at the end.

Overall, a pretty good film with a crazy ending that I guess can be seen coming but may still take you by surprise.

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