Red Hook Summer (2012)


Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB

USA, 2012Screenplay by , Cinematography by Produced by Spike Lee.  Music by Production Design by Costume Design by Film Editing by

Flik () is sent up to Brooklyn for the summer from Atlanta, dropped off by his mother at the apartment of her estranged father, “Da Good Bishop Enouch Rouse” (). Immediately standing out in Red Hook thanks to his comfortable middle-class comforts being shoved into the faces of a neighbourhood teeming with strivers, adolescent Flik learns a lot about discipline from his grandfather, who forces him to volunteer at the local Sunday School where he develops a friendship with a young woman named Chazz (). Enoch, whose high-flagging energy never wavers throughout Peters’ mesmerizing performance, is devoutly religious to a fault, and the conflict between him and the young boy is at the heart of this warm but uneven film by Spike Lee, who returns to the world he previously explored in films like Crooklyn (whose plot he reverses here), He Got Game and Do The Right Thing (Lee even makes an appearance here as the character Mookie). The excessive script takes a strange turn in the last third, busting out a child sexual abuse subplot that feels randomly dropped in from a different work, throwing the experience well off track and confusing the viewer about what is meant to be at the heart of this occasionally incisive film. It’s a rare low point for Lee, though it features his usually bright and colourful cinematography and exciting and explosive dialogue.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Sam Simon says:

    Nice post! This movie pertains to what I consider as a low period of Spike Lee which, in my opinion, ended with his fantastic BlacKkKlansman!

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