**** (out of 4)
Back in 1989, several prominent commentators, such as David Denby and Joe Klein, predicted (incorrectly) that Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing would incite riots. Since then, reviewers have invariably used charged adjectives – “provocative,” “fiery,” “angry” are some of the more popular ones – to describe Lee’s work. Summing up the general consensus, one writer for The Guardian recently went so far as to call Lee “the boldest and brashest auteur in American film.”
In reality, however, people who call Lee’s films polemical or incendiary are only telling half the story.