You know, we really take Spike Lee for granted. While he does misstep from time to time, and he hasn’t made a truly great film in a few years, his films are always fascinating and revolutionary, from Malcolm X to 25th Hour to Inside Man to the masterpiece Do the Right Thing. And based on the reception at Cannes today, as well as this first trailer, it seems like his newest film, BlacKkKlansman, may be the next game-changer in his oeuvre.
Based on a true story, BlacKkKlansman tells the story of African American detective Ron Stallworth (John David Washington), who orchestrated the infiltration of his local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan alongside his white stand-in Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver), not only winning over the Grand Dragon David Duke (Topher Grace), but becoming the head of the chapter.
I mean, from start to finish, this is an excellent trailer. It sells everything that this movie is about: it’s about race, it’s about good people doing the right thing, and above all, it’s funny. I never expected Spike Lee’s grand display of the Ku Klux Klan to be a comedy, but here we are, laughing at the site of Topher Grace as some sort of racist Ned Flanders. And that’s not to ignore the clear Blaxploitation style that Lee is utilizing, which gives the film a sense of cool that can only come from a great director with a great project. Time will tell how this film will play with the general public, but one thing’s for certain: between the six-minute standing ovation at Cannes and this great trailer, we could be looking at Lee’s best film in over ten years. BlacKkKlansman will be released on August 10, 2018, and you can watch the first trailer below.