Get on the Bus

Bomb Rating: 

Spike Lee should be considered a champion of equality. Throughout the history of film, the conception and production of motion pictures has been controlled almostexclusively by white people. They displayed their artistic superiority with such films as "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes" and "Plan 9 From Outer Space." Now times have changed, and Spike Lee is here to prove that African-Americans can make really bad films as well.

His latest is "Get on the Bus," a film that's supposed to be about the Million Man March, or rather, about fifteen or so guys getting on a bus and going to the Million Man March. Well, here's a swift kick to the shins for you: They never get to the Million Man March. All these black guys do is ride around in a bus for two hours. It's "Speed" without the speed.

If Spike were all hyped to give a political speech, he should have gone to an NAACP meeting and given one. Instead, he directs his ranting toward his usual victims, members of the unsuspecting audience. "Get on the Bus" consists exclusively of contrived political dialogue masquerading as character conflict, and unconvincing conflict at that. It's "Speed" without the character depth.

Noah's Ark couldn't have been more diverse than this bus. There's a macho man (Andre Braugher), a couple of gay men (Isaiah Washington, Harry Lennix), a mulatto police officer (Roger Guenveur Smith), a former gang-banger turned community activist (Gabriel Casseus), a college student (Hill Harper), an old, wise guy (Ossie Davis), a fatherly figure (Charles S. Dutton), a Republican and a white Jew (Richard Belzer). Given the sheer contrivance of the whole situation, it's something of a miracle that the Seven Dwarfs don't leap out of somebody's suitcase and start singing "Hi Ho" as the bus rolls down the highway.

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