This piece was originally published in the November 8th, 2018 issue of The Collegian, but I'm reposting it now because Blindspotting is streaming on HBO.
Over the summer, MoviePass imploded. Technically it's still around, but with a bunch of rules and regulations that make it practically useless, it's only a shell of what it once was. The dream of unlimited movies at the theater for $9.99 a month is dead, and people like Scott Rae—who went to see “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” nine separate times with his MoviePass—killed it. In late July, while MoviePass was in its death throes, I decided to go see “Mission Impossible: Fallout” at the East Ridge UEC in Chattanooga, TN, but when I tried to check in, I was notified that MoviePass was no longer offering tickets for newly-released movies. I really didn't feel like driving home without actually seeing a movie, so I begrudgingly bought a ticket to the next showing of the only film in the app still listed as eligible for check in, a movie I'd never heard of called “Blindspotting.”
“Blindspotting” follows two best friends from Oakland, Collin (Daveed Diggs) and Miles (Rafael Casal), during the last three days of Collin’s probation. The two work for Commander Moving, packing families and the elderly up out of the city, all while hipsters and tech-bros slide in and take their place, much to Miles’ chagrin. A lot of the film is jokey banter between the two as they drive from pick-up to drop-off, dealing with weirdo art dealers and grumpy ex-girlfriends while Miles constantly tries to hussle the junk they pick up to unsuspecting passersby and friends, and Collin just tries to stay out of trouble. It’s got the vibe of an early Kevin Smith flick, coupled with the fun visual comedy and drive of an Edgar Wright movie. At the same time, the core of the film feels much more like an early Spike Lee joint, as it revolves around Collin seeing something that he shouldn’t have at the start of it all, and just how he reckons with the trauma he now carries.
“Blindspotting” is perfectly paced, answering questions about motivation and backstory just as they get to be too big to ignore, and the whole thing feels deliberate and dense, packing dozens and dozens of memorable moments into a brief 90-minute run time. This is a movie that contains a bunch of feelings and pieces and tricks you’ve seen before, but it fits them all together into something new: a delicious crystallization of why we love them in the first place—kind of like a movie version of Taco Bell’s Cheesy Gordita Crunch. The climax of the film is a clockwork emotional rollercoaster—we can see the pieces falling into place but are powerless to do anything but watch, and it’s just so, so good. While “Blindspotting” does get a little heavy-handed in places, its themes of fear, trauma, injustice, gentrification, toxic masculinity, and male friendship are explored so well that it’s easy enough to look past some of that preachiness. “Blindspotting” is a movie about the things that, for whatever reason, we’ll alway miss, unless we know to look for them. Appropriately enough, I almost missed this movie, and if it wasn’t for MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe’s idiotic business plan, I wouldn’t have seen what I consider to be my favorite film of the year. “Blindspotting” went out of theaters almost immediately after I saw it, and since then I’ve been counting down the days till I could stream it again. Thankfully, that day has come, and as of Nov. 6, “Blindspotting” is available for rental and purchase on most major digital marketplaces. Pick it up and watch it as soon as you can. I promise you’ll love it. Matt out.