The violence isn’t shocking, it’s just sadly familiar, and that isn’t interesting or illuminating to me as a black viewer in 2017.” As a white viewer and critic, I say Blay has a point.
As I noted in my review, the movie turns into a grisly, unrelenting spectacle of racist brutality that documents events without elevating them as drama.
In the Daily Beast, Touré wrote that in, “the black point of view is privileged. On Roger Ebert.com, Angelica Jade Bastien said On the Huffington Post, Zeba Blay wrote, “the images of violence in the film, designed to be visceral, in your face to expose and inspire outrage and disbelief, inspired nothing in me but pessimism and spiritual exhaustion.
He said Will Smith’s fighter jock conformed to the stereotype of the black man as athlete, and Jeff Goldblum’s mathematician adhered to clichés about the Jewish intellectual.
The next day, I interviewed Smith, who had a different perspective entirely.
It also turns from a nimble ensemble piece to a horror movie dominated by the wrong character — Will Poulter’s smirking thug.
I think Bigelow made a mistake in the way she structured the movie, by focusing on Poutler’s character, but I’m loath to ascribe this to her race.