Drop Squad

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2

Content: -3

Spike Lee's newest film follows a fictional group of African Americans who kidnap other African Americans unduly brainwashed by white American culture. Bruford (Eriq La Salle) is a young black who works for a white advertising agency. His job is to create new ways to sell beer to African Americans. Disgusted with his behavior, his family hires the "Drop Squad" to kidnap and reprogram Bruford back into a loyal member of African American society. Rocky (Ving Rhames), the ringleader of the gang, has misgivings about the increasingly violent behavior used in "deprogramming" the subjects. It is unclear whether Bruford is successfully reprogrammed, but the Drop Squad apparently has helped others. One exception, however, is a young man who does not respond to the Squad's deprogramming efforts, and dies in a dispute over drug money. Apart from some funny and satirical commercials, DROP SQUAD quickly degenerates into a preachy heavy-handedness that has no clear target. Only very enthusiastic Spike Lee fans will find this film worth watching.

Perhaps in an attempt to spice up the languishing plot, Mr. Lee adds over 80 obscenities, plus some regular profanity. Most of the violence centers around "deprogramming" the subjects by punching them in the stomach or threatening to beat them. A young man shot is shown with a pool of blood forming around his head. Fortunately, DROP SQUAD has no nudity or sexual situations. The movie expresses positive messages that no one should be ashamed of their family, friends or ethnic background, and that "no man is an island" people need each other. At the same time, it says African Americans should stick together so they can fight against the unjust white power structure. If "no man is an island," can a single race be one, living against and in isolation from other races? This does not promote brotherly unity but disunity. St. Paul affirms that in Christ "there is no longer Jew nor Greek" (Gal. 3:28). With his underlying message and the polluted dialogue, Spike Lee has dropped the ball on the DROP SQUAD.

Preview Reviewer: Greg Wilson
Gramercy Pictures, 9247 Alden Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90210

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (34) times - Mild 23, Moderate 11

Obscene Language: Many (81) times (f-word 29, s-word 47, 5 others)

Profanity: Several (9) times - Regular 6 (J,G-d), Exclamatory 3

Violence: Several times - Moderate (few men punched in stomach, gagged, water poured on faces, other mental tortures)

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times - references to body shape

Drugs: None

Other: Strong racial prejudice expressed against Whites

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Adults

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