Why I'm disappointed with Spike Lee's 'Chi-Raq' trailer
This was hard to write.
Spike Lee is and has been a personal hero for myself and many other black cinephiles since the first time any of us had the pleasure of seeing Do The Right Thing. My personal favorite, He Got Game, is a movie that I’ve watched 100 times and have yet to get tired of. But after watching the Chi-Raq trailer last night with my girlfriend it was impossible to deny that this movie doesn’t look good. Nothing about those 2 minutes and 34 seconds made me want to see that film. Not Sam Jackson, narrating the story like a college sports announcer in that pumpkin-colored suit. Not La La Anthony saying, “All to the bang bang,” or Wesley Snipes with an eye patch. Not even Nick Cannon doing his very best Tupac Shakur impression. To be honest, there are almost too many reasons to name that make me want to skip this one at the theater.
The issue of gun violence in Chicago is a serious one for our community. I do believe that there is a story to be told, for which I am grateful that Lee has given any attention at all to telling it. He’s a filmmaker that has always been able to accurately capture what it meant to be black in America, especially as a youth. But as I watched this train wreck back two, three, and four times in a row, it feels a lot more like parody than accuracy. I’ll continue to hope that Chi-Raq has a word for us. But after seeing this trailer, it surely does seem like a long shot.
The final judgement will come with the movie’s limited release on December 4th. Hopefully, I was wrong. There’s no one you’ll find who wishes that more than me.