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Wick's Review

Created Apr 07, 2019 08:32PM PST • Edited Apr 11, 2019 05:38AM PST

  1. Quality
  2. OK 2.5

    Oaktown gets its closeup in Oakland-native Daveed Diggs’s Blindspotting. Diggs cowrote the movie with costar Rafael Casal, a Berkeley native. So they know the Town, including its many contradictions. Unfortunately, their film stumbles often, coming across as a clumsy imitation of Atlanta, Donald Glover’s TV series about a likable guy in the ATL.

    The contradictions highlighted by Blindspotting start with how it paints normal Oakland guys as latently thuggish. One leading character is an intelligent and sensitive sort, yet isn’t above kicking the shit out of unwary people on the slimmest of pretenses. His buddy is a family man with a hair-trigger temper that easily explodes into horrific violence. And yet, they believe their main problem is the violence supposedly inflicted on them by what they view as a racist Oakland PD.

    Blindspots aside, the movie gets old quick, with the set-pieces quickly becoming predictable, as are the put downs of tech workers who move into Oaktown. OTOH, it does an admirable job exploring how blacks and whites exist in an uneasy and unresolved relationship that is defined by inner-city black culture.

    Daveed Diggs is a major talent, mostly famous as an original cast member of the Broadway and cultural sensation Hamilton. However, based on the evidence of Blindspotting, he should stick to acting unless his writing skills dramatically improve.

  3. Good 3.0
    • Daveed Diggs has a low-key appeal in this non-musical role. It will be good to see him spread his wings onscreen.
    • Rafael Casal has a crazy energy as a white guy who has to get along in a majority black inner city.
    • Janina Gavankar jumps offscreen as a coworker who sees something better and bigger in Diggs’ character.
    • Jasmine Cephas Jones also jumps offscreen as Casal’s levelheaded wife.
    • Ethan Embry evokes real empathy as a cop whose life is ruined by a shooting.
  4. Male Stars Good 3.0
  5. Female Stars Good 3.0
  6. Female Costars Good 3.0
  7. Male Costars Good 3.0
  8. OK 2.5
  9. Direction Good 3.0
  10. Play Barely OK 2.0
  11. Music Good 3.0
  12. Visuals Very Good 3.5
  13. Content
  14. Risqué 2.4
  15. Sex Innocent 1.0
  16. Violence Brutal 3.3
  17. Rudeness Profane 3.0
  18. Glib 1.3
  19. Circumstantial Glib 1.8
  20. Biological Natural 1.0
  21. Physical Natural 1.0


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