Do the Right Thing pops with life and energy and color from the first frame and never relents.
As the day winds down and the story shifts from “slice of life with racial themes” to “racial violence with people we’ve come to care about,” the film burns with vitality. I’d seen this movie before (although not in a decade), but I was still breathless and furious as Radio Raheem was murdered, Mookie threw that trash can, and Sal’s was destroyed.
It should go almost without saying that this movie is (sadly) still fresh and topical, perhaps moreso than ever. Thirty years, and it’s sad how little has changed.
There’s not much I’d think about changing here. Lee as an actor is a tier below everyone else here, but not awful. And Turturro’s Pino feels a bit over the top — racists are better at using dog whistles these days, I think (but then, I don’t make it my business to hang out with racists, so maybe not). Undeniably, though, this is a masterpiece.
- Review Project: 2009 Top 100
Masterpiece: Tour De Good (8/8)
Note: This review was originally published elsewhere. Please excuse brevity or inconsistencies in style. If you have questions or feedback, please leave a comment or contact me.