Detroit is the movie that everyone should be talking about come August 4th. It re-tells the story of the horrific 1967 riots, but more specifically the tragic evening that occurred between four Black men and three racist White cops. My review inside.
Mark Boal and Kathryn Bigelow reunited again as writer and director to create a film that made one viewer walk out during my screening. Based on real life events, its unimaginable to think that actor Will Poulter played a police officer that treated human beings with such spite and disrespect in real life. In fact, Algee Smith who plays the character Larry Reed, told me Will had to take breaks from filming because it was hard playing such an evil, racist character.
Set in 1967, Detroit shows the horrific tragedy that went down at the Algiers Hotel on the third night of rioting. Larry Reed and his band The Dramatics were set to perform at a downtown theater but that was cut short after everyone had to evacuate due to the violence occuring outside.
The Dramatics, played by Nathan Davis Jr., Malcolm David Kelly and Joseph David-Jones were split up while trying not to get caught up in the riot. Larry and his best friend Fred (Jacob Lattimore) decided to get a room at the Algiers Hotel. Unfortunately, that decision led to a night they’d never forget.
Wanting to have a little fun, Larry and Fred not only meet the only two White girls at the hotel, but decide to go upstairs with them to hang out with even more Black men! That may not sound like a big deal but this was 1967. The guys are introduced to a loose cannon named Carl (Jason Mitchell) who decides to repeatedly shoot off a toy guy outside his window, which makes law enforcement think there’s a sniper in the hotel.
So, you have Black people looting and rioting, an all White police department and now a possible sniper… all at the same time. Not just that, but the head officer, Philip Krauss (Will Poulter) is as racist as they get, having being the only cop to have killed a rioter.
Krauss’s takes matters into his own hands, being physically abusive and disrespectful as a tact to find out who and where the so-called sniper is. Kathryn’s multi-camera shooting skills really pulls in the audience to make them feel as if they’re in the room. I jumped, I gasped, I sighed and even rolled my eyes.
To think this night actually happened to people is scary. Not just that but justice was not served against the involved police. I left the theater thinking I’m happy I wasn’t alive to experience the disrespect given to victims, but then I thought, this is still happening in 2017. Detroit is a must-see film that opens your eyes to not only a story that needed to be told, but also the realization that the police academy is still filled with racist cops.