A Racial Powder Keg Explodes in Tense ‘Detroit’ Trailer
The newest and final trailer for Kathryn Bigelow’s explosive historical drama Detroit leaves no wound unsalted. Her retelling of the horrific Algiers Motel incident during the Detroit riots of 1967 never shies away from the inhumanity of that fateful night, staring unblinking at the sadistic cops who took the lives of three men of color. The trailer keeps in the spirit of that difficult dedication to the facts, showing images of black fear and white hatred without remorse. If summer 2017 yields a more disturbing sight than the cold, insincere smile from implicated officer Phillip Krauss (Will Poulter), I’ll be surprised.
He’s one of the central players in this tragedy, clearly demarcated as the villain by this trailer. Our points of empathy are John Boyega as Melvin Dismukes, a local guard who may be the subject of a frame job by the local police, and the unfortunate souls posted up at the Algiers Motel on that night in July. Among them are Anthony Mackie, on loan from the Marvel Universe between gigs as the Falcon, and breakout star Jacob Latimore. They stand in as a symbol for friction between racial factions in America that lives on today, but in the trailer, they’re a visual shorthand for politicized violence.
This trailer plays up the critic quotes breathlessly praising Bigelow’s vision. From the look of it, she’s cooked up another pot-stirrer with The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty writer Mark Boal. The quality of the film seems all but assured, though the question of whether it will be able to cruise the same wave of controversy that launched her previous films into the Oscar race. Voters love some good war controversy, but race controversy? That‘s another can of worms entirely.