Release Date: 2015 (December)

Genre: Drama, Comedy, Musical.

Rating: R (sexual content, language, violence and drugs)

IMHO, I give this film a thumbs up.

The movie was written by Kevin Willmott and Spike Lee who also directed. It’s a veritable tour-de-force. Actors include Nick Cannon (Chi-Raq), Teyonah Parris (Lysistrata), John Cusack (Father Mike Corridan), Samuel L. Jackson (Dolmedes), Jennifer Hudson (Irene), Angela Bassett (Miss Helen), and so many more.

It’s a masterpiece, cinematographically (Matthew Libatique), visually, the colors, the sets, the actors, the costumes, and every spoken line, which also rhymes, as if we are listening to rap songs, musical numbers from hip-hop, jazz, gospel, R&B.

Kudos to the composer, Terence Blanchard.

What is the story?

“This is an Emergency”, the opening scene is a map of the USA, red, white and blue, all made of guns. Then we see some scary statistics, comparing the war in Iraq to the number of deaths in Chicago. America loves their guns and the National Rifle Association stands behind this love and defends it.

The movie unfolds in Chicago’s Southside, and blacks are dying at the hand of blacks, the Spartans against the Trojans, reminding us of the Crips and the Bloods. It’s the last straw when another young kid dies from a stray bullet. Lysistrata organizes women in a sex strike to stop the gang wars. “No peace, no pussy” becomes the rallying cry.

At first, the men can’t believe it and laugh, but after some time passes they become, shall we say, desperate? Enraged?

Bottom Line

The audience reportedly is divided half and half liking it and not.

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Although the movie is a satire, the theme is serious. Lee can’t convince people one way or another, most have their minds made up already and will not budge because of a movie. Perhaps the blacks will be more influenced by it than the whites. Regardless, it’s a must-see.

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