The Negro Problem

Spike Lee's new racial satire starts out strong but ends up wasting ammunition

To guarantee that audiences won't leave the theater laughing, however, the film closes out with some extended montages of actual minstrel shows and a collection of antique tin toys depicting African-Americans as hideous cartoons. Some of this footage is so revelatory that you wish Lee had made a documentary instead. Perhaps, though, it ultimately contradicts Lee's point (that racism is easily marketable in today's world) by showing that, despite our racial problems, we really have come a long way since the days when it was acceptable to market a spring-action toy of a mule kicking a black man in the head. For Lee to say, as he does in the press notes, that, if you take away the blackface, the minstrel show he depicts is no different from many shows currently on the air, seems a little extreme (although the minstrels do act a lot like a certain computer-generated George Lucas creation...).

There's no question that racism is still alive in America, and the lower-key jokes in Bamboozled take on the subject quite well, as in the scene in which Dunwitty, wearing blackface, mentions that he had a hard time getting a cab ("Perhaps they thought you were Danny Glover," snorts Pierre); or when Pierre gets his all-white writing staff to get past their political correctness by tapping into their anger over the O.J. Simpson verdict. But the climax is so ham-handed that it almost negates the film's prior well-scored points.

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
All
 
My Voice Nation Help
0 comments
Sort: Newest | Oldest
 

Now Showing

Find capsule reviews, showtimes & tickets for all films in town.

Powered By VOICE Places

Box Office

Scores provided by Rotten Tomatoes

Join My Voice Nation for free stuff, film info & more!

Loading...