Isaac’s review published on Letterboxd:
I’m happy to reevaluate this if I come across critiques in good faith that explain why this is bad but I’m pretty shocked at how great it is as of now. There was already worry and concern over how this film and its characters would be handled, and I’m genuinely surprised at how much was put into it that I didn’t think we would see. We actually get to hear some of the politics of The Black Panther Party and they are presented in a positive light. We actually get to hear the word socialism, we actually hear capitalism/ capitalists directly labeled as the problem. We even hear them mention Mao lmao. This might come across as the bar is pretty low, but it kind of is for something this big budget.
I understand there’s still the irony of this being released by WB, and I know it’s not genuinely that radical, I’m just surprised we actually got this story told in this way.
It’s a heartbreaking story and I really do hope this does well upon wide release. I do think knowing the historical context going into this definitely helped, there’s some specific discourse I can already see brewing regarding the forming of the Rainbow Coalition in this film, and I think it could have provided better context. Ultimately I think people will choose to see how this film portrays its characters, and that will cause a lot of hate or love for it. For me Fred Hampton is shown as a hero, and William O’Neal is depicted as a traitor. I think it’s a great film, but like any other biopic, or political film, this should never be your end point.
Rest in power, Fred Hampton