Queen & Slim
From writer Lena Waithe (Master of None, Ready Player One) comes the story of the worst Tinder date ever. After Queen (Jodie Turner-Smith) and Slim (Daniel Kaluuya) are pulled over (by Sturgil Simpson) due to racial profiling, the situation escalates leading to the officer (just to be clear it’s Sturgil Simpson and it’s weird) shooting Queen. Slim uses the officer’s own gun in self defense, killing Sturgil Simpson. This incident kicks off them being on the run for 6 days (although it feels like weeks).
Obviously, there is a powerful message about profiling and police brutality at the root of the film, but it’s a bit muddled in the execution. The long drawn out parts of the two having some normalcy in their lives such as dancing or driving on an open road are valuable, but get boring very quickly. Until the end, it’s hard to figure out whether they’ve been running for months or a few days, which is less disorienting and more frustrating for the viewer.
Besides one scene, everything is from their perspective. That one scene features an inspired kid, who the two fugitives met earlier, confronting police during a riot. It’s a powerful scene, but very out of place since at no other time are we seeing anything outside of Queen and Slim’s journey.
Queen & Slim, tense but what else?
I keep going back and forth on this film and feel that it’s missing something, but I can’t put my finger on it. There are a lot of conveniences as well as stupid mistakes that every character in this movie makes, but I could look past those if the story was a little bit stronger. Many of the scenes were tense, but never lived up to the initial scene where they were pulled over.
At the very least, I think people should seek this out to see the horrors of police brutality and its ripple effects on the people, families, and communities plagued by these issues.
The 4K looks great and the scenes on the wide open road look incredibly crisp.
Queen & Slim has an important message, but much like the characters the film doesn’t always know where it’s going. 5 out of 10 stars.
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Kyle Dodson is a writer, comedian, Rock Solid Podcast producer, Batman aficionado, facial hair connoisseur, and oxford comma supporter.