See You Yesterday (2019)
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At first you think See You Yesterday is going to be Spy Kids with time travel, but there's an early F-bomb that sets you straight. Or you might notice Spike Lee is one of the Netflix Originals' producers, a designation it wears on its sleeve. After all, the event the kids try to undo by going back in time is the unlawful police shooting of a young black man. There's something of a clash between the bright colors and genius teenagers of the film and the strong language and bleak ripped-from-the-headlines nature of the plot, a combination that makes me ask "who is this FOR?!". It feels too Disney for older teenagers, and too dark for younger kids. It almost works, mind, and there's a message there about the sad inevitability (?) of these kinds of events in American culture. It falls apart in the last scene, because for the message to work (either as cynical statement or as hopeful message), we need closure one way or the other. It's not so much that the ending is ambivalent, but that it's missing a third act (or else has a unnecessary coda). Or are they planning on giving it a sequel? (Regardless, features an awesome cameo well worth catching.)
Brilliant film. Although the tone of the film is not dark, the overarching message is. Recommended
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