Mirage’s review published on Letterboxd:
Fred Hampton has gotten his 'Selma' treatment, to be successfully whitewashed and made palatable for liberals.
Oh no, no talks of TBPP's politics here, no ma'am, just one mention of socialism and a couple hollers of fascism.
Don't forget to add no emotional depth, it's pretty obvious the people behind this film quite frankly don't give a shit about TBPP.
William O'Neal was 17 years old when he entered a deal with the FBI. Fred Hampton was 21 when he was killed by the Chicago police department. Instead of casting youth to portray the youth fighting for the self determination of Black folks in America, they cast 2 men far older than them. Once again stripping the youth from Black boys and jolting them to be viewed and digested by the viewer as grown men. Old school whitewashing tactics.
The film portrays Fred & William as if they aren't real, as if they do not exist outside of the central plot. There's no attempts to earn audience empathy & Fred Hampton is reduced to almost randomly placed quotations as if he doesn't exist outside of being a vessel for a greater cause.
Dominique Fishback & LaKeith Stanfield impress, but Daniel Kaluuya gives a dull and empty take on Chairman Fred (with an attempted accent that jumps all over the place). There is no point where I'm captivated during Daniel's performance as I am when I watch the real Chairman Fred speak, one of the biggest examples of miscasting in ages.
Fred, The Black Panther Party & Black America deserve better than this. All the technical merits are there but when you're not honoring the people, what is the point.