As a (now former) resident of New York, I can tell you that nothing brings out the beast of the city quite like a sticky summer day. Add a cast of troubled characters, the smog of racial tension, and a city full of short tempers and you've got a recipe for disaster. Do The Right Thing is an early Spike Lee film that demonstrates exactly how racial hatred can slowly eat the soul straight out of a neighborhood until it is left with nothing but bare bones and smoking debris. More than that, it's about the genuine, salt-of-the-earth people who get caught in the crossfire of battling ideals.
I've spent a lot of time studying the tug-and-pull of the "Martin Luther King Jr. vs. Malcolm X" arguments, and I'll always be hard pressed to say exactly where I fall between the two. Luckily, Spike Lee shares a similar unease and battles it out all while telling a good story. Political messages aside, it's just a good movie. Period. The characters are colorful and crisp, the dialogue hits you with a poetic beat, and it's the perfect blend of art and real life. After all, you can't get to the real truth of the matter without a little fiction, and Do The Right Thing is a perfect example of just that. Spike Lee, Danny Aiello, John Turturro and so many more are fantastically cast and really bring their roles to life. Plus, it has my man Samuel L. Jackson as the smooth talking Mister Señor Love Daddy. I'm sold.