Do The Right Thing (1989)
The setting is Brooklyn, NY on one of the hottest days of the summer. In this particular part of the neighborhood, there is a pizzeria named Sal’s that people love to go to, however, it is the only white owned business on the block with only 1 black employee, Mookie (Spike Lee). Since the neighborhood is dominated by African-Americans youths, Sal’s Pizzeria gets a bad rap for not having anyone of “color” on its “Wall of Fame” and several of the customers become vocal to boycott Sal’s. When Sal (Danny Aiallo) himself refuses to add any new photos, tensions begin to escalate on an already tense day in a racially diverse neighborhood.
Having not heard of this movie until I looked at the AFI Top 100 list (#96) and I can see why it is on the list. It is wonderfully written and directed by Spike Lee (Inside Man, Malcolm X, 25th Hour) and becomes a powerfully tense and dramatic movie about racism. The only drawback to this type of movie is that it really isn’t meant to be entertaining. It sends a strong message that many will understand, but the problem is getting people to want to sit through to the end to get the message. Nominated for 2 Academy Awards for Spike Lee’s direction and writing, Do The Right Thing will be loved by some, and others will just find it boring. Co-starring Bill Nunn, Giancarlo Esposito, Martin Lawrence, John Turturro, Ossie Davis, Richard Edson, Rosie Perez, Ruby Dee and Samuel L. Jackson.
6/10 Stars – Great message but little care for the story itself, I found it to not be that entertaining.
Wasn’t sure what to expect from Do the Right Thing. I was surprised by what I saw. The message that Spike Lee reinforces is a good one but honestly I wasn’t thrilled about watching the whole thing. My attention waned, which I almost felt guilty for really because it is a decent film but I think not quite up my alley. I can totally see why it’s on the AFI list but also why it is number 96 and not higher up.
5/10 Stars – Not my cup of tea as far as movies go.
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