"Movies are neat. That's about it"
The opening credits of Blindspotting shows different parts of Oakland, California in split screen. There's old street corners and shops and there's newly constructed gentrified housing. And while both images are being shown to us we find our focus constantly shifting between the two but "never being able to see both", as a character from the film notes.
At it's core, Blindspotting is about a man serving out the last few days of his parole when he witnesses the murder of a black man by an Oakland police officer. While this description gives off the sense that this is another film that wallows in urban violence and suffering, Blindspotting manages to portray its setting with heart and levity while also keeping itself in touch with those very real horrors.
Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal (who are also the screenwriters) provide palpable amounts of on screen chemistry, and they serve up many moments of levity throughout the run time. Following the pair is ceaselessly interesting, as the film - refreshingly - let's us see how they spend their days, in an episodic nature that draws us in, only to catch us off guard when Diggs' Collin has nightmares fueled by the murder he witnessed.
However, the film is perhaps a bit too laissez-faire in regards to focus, as there are many scenes that sling jokes at the gentrifying hipsters of Oakland; while these are enjoyable, they do feel a little at odds with the story, and the scenes preceding the climax of the film feel a little strangely paced.
But despite these faults, Blindspotting manages to create what is possibly one of the most powerful monologues in recent memory, with Diggs rapping a layered and complex barrage of words towards a specific individual. The raw intensity of that moment brings it back to what the film wants the audience to do: to wake up and see the blind spots of our reality.
mission Impossible: Fallout
The fact that the 6th film in this movie series is the best may be the most impossible mission of them all.
Mission: Impossible - Fallout sees Tom Cruise return as Ethan Hunt to do battle against clandestine forces that seek to something something something, do some bad things. Ultimately, the plot to Fallout services as an excuse to deliver the best action sequences of this year. These spectacles are certainly the biggest draw, but the more intrigue-filled, double-crosses remain some of the tensest the series has seen.
Along with Cruise, returning cast members include Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, and Rebecca Ferguson, all of which play off each other perfectly, with Pegg continuing to be a stand out comic character. New to the series is Henry Cavill and his mustache, who easily plays the best villain by far. His more rough exterior contrasts with Cruise's affable cunning.
But let's talk about the set pieces shall we? Fallout is spectacularly choreographed, with the pacing and stakes constantly ramping up in intensity. From the tense opening sequence to the final helicopter battle, there is rarely a moment that allows the audience to breathe (and I mean this in the best possible way)
Simply put, Mission: Impossible - Fallout is a skillfully crafted, entertaining spectacle that is endlessly enjoyable.