"Detroit"

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Just came back from seeing Dunkirk again, this time in glorious 70mm. Much better than the bass-heavy, boomy IMAX experience I had yesterday. My wife and I couldn't decipher much of the dialogue the first time around.

Anyway, the embargo for DETROIT has elapsed. Here are my thoughts:

The cushion of the film, when it really hits its stride, is the Algiers centerpiece, which takes up roughly, give or take, 90 minutes of the running time. That's when DETROIT is at its most gripping and unsettling. Almost everything clicked for me in those 90 minutes. If this film were directed by a lower-tier filmmaker I'd be even more impressed by the tightly shot, well directed mise-en-scene, but this is Kathryn Bigelow we're talking about here and we expect this kind of visceral experience from her,  but just not in the way it is delivered here: with a lack of subtlety.

I hate to say this, but some of the action almost veers towards torture Porn. At times, it felt like something out of Rob Zombie's The Devil's Rejects, a movie which I very much like by the way, but, again, no subtlety. 

Krauss, the main white cop who perpetrates all of this evil, as played by Will Poulter, really chews up the scenery and he does a good job for us to just completely HATE his guts, but I'm still not sure if I hated the Poulter's performance or the character. 

Bigelow definitely had me involved. His character is completely despicable, lacks any kind of morals, but he's also a thinly written caricature, almost cartoon-like. The boyish face doesn't help either. I just wanted to punch him.

Another problem is that they could have easily trimmed the film down by 25-30 minutes. The last third does in fact drag. 142 minutes is a little too much for a story that could have easily been told in less than two hours.


I wouldn't be complaining as much if it were directed by almost any other Hollywood filmmaker, but Bigelow has set a gold standard for us to judge her work by. This film does not belong next to landmarks such as THE HURT LOCKER and ZERO DARK THIRTY.
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