Based on the Algiers Motel Incident in Detriot during 1967. Detroit is the 2017 film that is directed by Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker) and has a amazing cast that is comprised of John Boyega, Will Poulter, Anthony Mackie, Algee Smith, John Krasinski and Jason Mitchell. After police officers suspect that they hear gunfire, the line up all the people in the hotel and threaten to kill them all until he hears the truth. I enjoyed Detroit, and I give it a 7.5/10 or a B+.
True stories are so hard to review because I can’t ask them to change the past. I really did enjoy Detroit, but what this film doesn’t do perfectly, is its direction, in the sense of; me hearing the cast meant I was going to watch it. I only knew it was about Detroit, nothing else, so when I watched it and it was about the Algiers Motel Incident – I almost felt as if I wanted to see the entire story. I felt like we were only getting a little of the story, it is almost as if we are rushed in to the incident and everything that went on before hand was explained to us quickly. And then it spent the first act trying to establish these characters. spent a while with the people in the room (which is good and I liked it) and then they just showed the end. I think the events could have been incorporated better, telling the story from one person’s point of view. That all being said, in order for the filmmakers to do that would result in a huge run-time, so I can understand why they didn’t and I think that the film we got was still chilling, I would have just liked a little more substance on the entire period for Detroit during these riots.
I did still enjoy Detroit, the main bulk of the film can only be described as thrilling- with this actors bringing their a-games and the direction of Bigelow meaning that I came to care for all of the people against the wall as if I was there amongst them. I was on the edge of my seat waiting to see what will happen whist also getting angry about the injustice of it all, as these innocent men and women were all tangled up in an unnecessary situation. Because of such I really came to care for all the characters, and sympathised with Boyega’s character as he was there trying to ensure no harm came to the innocent people and trying to play a mediator to ensure a peaceful resolution to the problem. But, as the night drew on became clear that Poulter’s character couldn’t take the truth as an answer and swooped lower and lower to try and end it all. The film hits the actual Algiers incident perfectly on the head, and follows it up well with what became of each of the people in the hotel. With Boyega’s character unfairly ending up being framed for it all. The problem I had with Detroit is I would’ve liked to have seen more on the situation in Detroit and not just the Hotel, but it does explain and show the incident in a thrilling way which all comes from the vision of the director and the actors performances. Detroit is very good at making the audience feel the helplessness that all those people felt, and really engaging the audience making them feel they are on the wall with the people.
The actors all give fantastic performances in Detroit, with Poulter delivering a chilling performance as the racist police officer Phillip Kraus; the environment Bigelow manages to create allows Poulter’s portrayal to really work as you can feel the injustice and he is really scary, this of course is also shown when he shoots someone. Another great performance is Boyega, who just wants everyone to go home and be safe, and he does a great job in portraying the naivety and then the realisation as to what is going on. The rest of the cast are good as well – like Algee Smith, but to me Boyega and Poulter performances are amazing.