Let’s be real about something, there’s nothing enjoyable about the political climate right now for Black People. We’re either targeted by narrow lawmakers to support their white preservationist base, we’re indirectly affected from negligence because we aren’t considered in many political conversations or, on the other side, we’re propped up in opportunistic fashion as a counterpoint to the first two, without actually having our voice considered in that opposition. As a result, we get a lot of different factions, one of them being, the crusading white liberal who will write all wrongs and be the resilient warrior necessary for civil justice. It’s nauseating, exploitive, and absolutely the premise of November Criminals, which just debuted its first trailer.
In the trailer, Addison (from the much BNP internally debated Baby Driver) our hero, has a budding bromance with his Black friend Kevin. Kevin work hard. Kevin real smart. Kevin retrieve book quickly, gives his white friend proper dap and calls him brother. So Addison, so knighted by Kevin, is a down-ass white dude.
Well, Kevin gets merked at his job, under circumstances that everyone believes Kevin, who you might remember as, the black guy, made him a gang member. Yeah… This leads Addison to combat this narrative that his beautiful Black friend Kevin wasn’t in a gang or part of any salacious activity that seemingly (by the movie’s tone) warranted his death. Even if it takes him, driving into bad neighborhoods (read: where Black people live) wraggling with drug dealers and gangsters (all Black) and police officers that don’t give a shit (that’s actually believable) and Kevin’s own parents who… you know what, we’ll come back to that.
So, here’s the problem: Every gotdamn thing. Black pain is a consumable for white audiences like pistachios and chamomile tea. Centering this movie on the unstoppable civic power of a white teenager (…I mean, I guess, with his old lookin’ ass) to uncover the mystery of his Black friend’s murder is simultaneously a mess and also typical. We’re supposed to look at the bravery of him engaging “non-safe” Black people, going to “bad neighborhoods” just to get justice for his friend? And also, if there’s any real logistical storytelling here, so Kevin really was into some seedy shit making the magical negro the magically typical negro.
Can we also talk about how the black mom gives up on trying to find out what happened to her son? Like…what Earth from Infinite Crisis does this movie take place on? Adapted to screen and directed by Sacha Gervasi, its pretty clear that black people weren’t represented anywhere in pre-production. Because like so many things nowadays, Black people are in the movie without actually being in it. But I guess some credit is deserved: pulling off Magical Negro, black pain and white savior all in one flick, is a hell of a hat trick.