It’s the hottest day of the year in a predominantly black Brooklyn neighbourhood, and simmering racial tensions are about to reach boiling point.
Now over 30 years old, Spike Lee’s incendiary third feature, a potent cocktail of visual bravado and barely suppressed anger, has lost none of its relevance and power to provoke. Lee plays Mookie, a pizza delivery man for Sal (an Oscar-nominated Danny Aiello), who runs a restaurant with his sons, Vito (Richard Edson) and the unapologetically-racist Pino (John Turturro). Local character Buggin’ Out (an early role for Breaking Bad’s Giancarlo Esposito) is incensed when he notices Sal’s Wall of Fame exhibits only Italian-American celebrities. Demanding redress, he stages a boycott and the pizzeria becomes a flashpoint in a series of confrontations that escalate inexorably towards violence.
Although the film centres around important issues, it never preaches; instead, it presents, making it a lasting depiction of NY life.
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