Judas and the Black Messiah

Judas and the Black Messiah ★★½

Hard not to hope for more but it’s not really a surprise it’s fairly underwhelming - the trailer did a great job of selling it. I mean, a film about one of the most demonised political groups of the past 50 years who represent everything the West despises being distributed by Warners was never going to be ‘revolutionary’ in any meaningful way. It looks good but it’s also a little dull? I don’t think the script does much to bring events to life either. Hampton plays second fiddle here and his politics are sidelined because of it - but realistically this would never have got major distribution if they took centre stage, which says it all really.

Not sure what to make of Kaluuya’s performance - not that I envy the task he had to take on here. It’s not bad by any means but it still feels like - a performance. He’s basically in a different film to everyone else. Stanfield is OK-ish but his double-sided nature is played a little too obviously and out in the open (someone recently said that unless he’s playing a variation of his real self he isn’t that good of an actor - which is absolutely true). Plemons does his plain-faced evil schtick that he’s so good at, and nice to see Dominique Fishback’s profile continue to rise. As for Martin Sheen I guess the only thing missing was a signet ring and a white cat to stroke on his lap. Think I’d prefer a documentary about Hampton and the Panthers instead. This will be rightfully forgotten about pretty quickly.