Though it eviscerates the white establishment from the opening reel, much of the film exhibits a deeply conservative worldview, even for 1991.
What will make it essential for future generations isn’t mere flashpoint topicality, but the way it aligns an old struggle with a current one.
Any potential flights of invention or creativity are subordinate to the plain and emphatic delivery of life lessons.
The films that Robert Rodriguez emulates here are known for similar unexpected narrative turns, but the crucial value that he misses is their actual cheapness.
With the film, Lee Daniels quietly pushes his talent for hashing out visceral, violent emotions into unexpected dramatic terrain.
It’s a little disturbing that James L. Brooks’s double-Oscar-winning comedy should get what amounts to a home-video brush-off.