Review: ‘Judas and the Black Messiah’ is one piece in a larger civil-rights puzzle
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Review: ‘Judas and the Black Messiah’ is one piece in a larger civil-rights puzzle


Kalua plays Fred Hampton, a minor character in “Chicago 7”, who led the Illinois chapter of the Black Panthers, and – like Martin Luther King Jr. – played FBI Director J. Attracted special attention from Edgar Hoover (Martin Sheen). Either way the movement is determined to strangle what is necessary.

To that end, an aspiring young agent (Jesse Pelmons) recruits Bill O’Neill (Lakith Stanfield) to infiltrate the Panthers, urging him to “get closer” to Hampton to operate as a government informer. is. O’Neill is pressured to force other black people to be robbed after being arrested as an FBI agent, explaining his motivation for the plan by saying, “than a badge gun is scary.”

Undercover work begins slowly, as O’Neill attempts to earn Hampton’s trust. When Hoover urges subordinates to “use O’Neill constructively,” it is a sign that whatever gloves are present are about to take off.

Both main stars (again After first appearing together “go”) Are much older than their characters, as Hampton died at the age of 21. This is an excusable license given Kalua the intensity and magnetism in a secondary role – seemingly reinforcing himself with every film – portraying Heritage’s ornamental skill. And still presenting his softer side as he traumatizes a new relationship with a like-minded revolutionary (“The Deuce” Dominic Fischbach).

Unfortunately, Hampton’s story is seen through the eyes of O’Neill’s “Judas”, who becomes increasingly agitated at the fate that can be traced to his betrayal. He is simply a less interesting character, at least until at the end there is a longer screenplay that details his ultimate fate.

Directed and co-written by Shaka King (who has primarily worked on TV since his 2013 feature debut “Newlyweds”), the film meticulously dated to the late 1960s, when America was on civil rights and “anti” The fire “regenerates” the tumor. -Over’s activism went against Hoover’s racism and paranoia about those powers.

What is lacking, mostly, is a tight focus on what is a complex story to judge. Many issues in the film, however, range from the current state of race relations to the way in which the material is suggested to deal with this perceived domestic threat, without having to deal with that kind of domestic threat. Resonates on

Finally, “Judas and the Black Messiah” is perhaps seen in concert with other explorations of the period – another piece in a larger puzzle, as well as another glimpse of the FBI’s excesses and tolls of civil rights battles. for justice.

“Judas and the Black Messiah” will premiere in theaters and on HBO Max on February 12. It is being released by Warner Bros., such as HBO Max and CNN, a unit of WarnerMedia.

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