Review: 'Chi-Raq', Spike Lee Doesn't Do The Right Thing

In the year 2015, gun violence and African American culture is a topic in which is heavily being expressed through both the news and social media. Director Spike Lee sought to express this idea through a film to describe the outcries of the time in a highly stylized film, and ultimately the result is a mess. Instead of creating a timeless films expressing the struggles in the struggling communities of Chicago, we were delivered a film that simply assimilates all the problems of the time and puts it in a 2 hr film.

Teyonah Parris(Dear White People),Samuel Jackson (Hateful 8), Nick Cannon(Drumline), Jennifer Hudson (Dream Girls) ,Wesley Snipes (Blade), John Cusack (Love and Mercy) , Angela Basset (American Horror Story), Dave Chapelle (The Chapelle Show) are a cast assembled by Director Spike Lee is so convoluted that is beyond recognition. Beyond Teyonah Parris , everyone else in the film feels as though Spike Lee was filming and called up some friends who weren't busy on his contact list. The dialogue is a satirical musical drama which is the worst possible choice for a film like this which needs to create the clearest possible message which is....

This leads to the second biggest problem with the film which is trying to figure out the problem in which the film is trying to address. The plot revolves around Teyonah Parris character attempting to solve gun violence in Chicago by having the women of two clashing gangs by refusing to have sex as long as gun violence is present. The film from there is smothered with dialogue utilizing sexual innuendos that feel off or outdated. A lot of scenes could've been broadened upon, while others could've been drastically cut.

For the first time in a long time, I feel as though no performances in this film moved me or made me seek out change in the community. The film was tedious and made it difficult to watch as serious
moments were cluttered by what seemed to be jokes thrown in by the cast.

In a time where a serious film that demands change is needed, a film like Chi- Raq attempts to make a difference without being blatantly clear on what its trying to say. Without a clear voice the film feels as though it is just another lost whisper against the ever growing sounds of gun violence reigning through the U.S. Spike Lee has delivered some timeless classics filled with emotion and creativity, yet I am not sure this was the film appropriate to try and do the same.

Chi- Raq earns a 1 out of 5 stars
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