A movie can have so much going for it, but then after the fact if one thing goes against it, that’s what you dwell on.
On Saturday I went to see Detroit; a movie that has received much acclaim from critics and the general public at large, and yet when someone asked me this morning if it was any good, my brief summary was “It was good, but it went on too long”.
That’s what I fixated upon.
If I was going to expand on my thoughts I would say that it was a tense, well acted affair that highlighted – in a way that it admitted was over-dramatised and used creative license – how bad things were during the Detroit riots of 1967. It was well shot and it did a good job of setting the scene for what was to come in an introductory history lesson at the start of the movie.
But I just can’t get past how it could probably have cut a good 45 minutes out and nothing would have been lost.
Though this was about the infamous police raid on the Algiers Motel where three black men were killed and nine others were beaten and humiliated by racist police, it took at least an hour to actually arrive at this point. Before it did, I had thought that perhaps the movie was a collection of unrelated stories about people who were caught up in the riots.
Then the Algiers stuff – as well as it was acted – also went on too long, and began to lose its impact.
And finally, after all of that, it briefly turns into a courtroom drama, at which point I was just desperate to get up and go.
Now reading that back, it looks as though I didn’t enjoy it, and yet I did.
But it’s that one thing – the length of the movie – that I’ll remember the most.
Apparently you can’t tell a good story in under two hours anymore…