What a cool and stylish picture this is, the feature debut of Melina Matsoukas who did those great Beyonce videos on Lemonade.
It’s also got Daniel Kaluuya on ace charismatic form, playing neatly off debutant Jodie Turner-Smith, two British actors utterly immersed in their roles as two professionals out on a date in a Detroit diner.
Things go wrong on the drive home, when a white cop pulls them over and gets trigger happy. Our two fine black folks panic and go on the run, fleeing south, swapping cars, with New Orleans as their destination.
Obviously, their relationship develops, as do their outfits, and that’s part of the grip the film exerts, but there’s also brilliance in the way they’re helped and hidden and smuggled while their story becomes a media sensation, building up into a national tension.
All the while, the soundtrack cranks up with Roy Ayres, Fela Kuti, The Pharcyde and a Blood Orange score. There’s a great scene in a roadside nightclub that – even if you’re wondering why the two fugitives would risk it – is so hot and sexy it just makes it all a dream.
It’s a cracking modern road movie with stops and episodes along the way, with echoes of Bonnie and Clyde and Thelma and Louise but has there ever been a black road movie? This burns with its own anger, passion and style, getting you on the characters’ side even when they do things they perhaps shouldn’t. Brilliant stuff.