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Blu-Ray Review – Supremacy

3 min read

Taboo subject matter in cinematic history have always been fraught with differing opinions and intense scrutiny, it comes with the territory. Director Deon Taylor manages to tackle a real event that occurred and project it in a light that showcases sides of the story that may not have been heard or understood. The following events have obviously been altered slightly for dramatic purpose, but it was interesting how Supremacy managed to balance such a delicate issue with respect and regard for those involved.

Supremacy BluRayGarrett Tully (Joe Anderson) has just been released from prison following a fifteen year stint, and is keen to get back with the Aryan Brotherhood, a white supremacist group that Tully is quite highly ranked in. Along for the ride is fellow supremacist and all round junkie Doreen (Dawn Olivieri), who is just looking for a way to get her son back. Tully manages to get into trouble right off the bat, robbing a convenience store and taking off with cash. Little wonder then we he and Doreen get pulled over by Officer Rivers (Mahershala Ali), the nervous Tully shoots and kills the officer. Afraid he will be sent back to prison, the couple take hostage an African American family, led by patriarch and fellow ex con Mr Walker (Danny Glover), who must not only protect his family but also use his understanding of the criminal mind to plan an escape. What follows is a harrowing turn of events for all involved, but the question of morality and acceptance is the key message here, one that is clear in its purpose.

The question of race will forever and always be a touchy subject among most audiences, add to this a retelling of an actual event and you have the makings of a film that will have people talking. Supremacy isn’t intense in terms of action, but rather the intensity of Tully’s hate towards certain races, and how that changes throughout the course of the film. Given the circumstance, you’re just waiting for Tully to boil over, and while he does to a certain degree, there’s a shadow of doubt at continuous play that affects his actions, creating some very tense moments in the film. Whether those particular events occurred in reality remains to be seen, but here’s hoping even the direst of criminals can still have some shred of morality left in them.

Most of the cast are relative unknowns, except for the old school Glover, who brings with him a maturity and wisdom that is perfect for the role of Mr Walker. Here it isn’t so much what he does, but rather the subtlety with which he does it that really makes Glover a standout, as he is clearly the Ying to Anderson’s Yang. Anderson too brings just the right amount of anger and turmoil as Tully, and I didn’t think it was possible to feel any sense of empathy for that kind of character, yet towards the end of the film the complete desolation of the character and where his life isn’t going makes you lose a sense of hope for humanity and what people are willing to do to other people, leaving you feeling sorry for them.

Supremacy isn’t going to win any major awards, but that isn’t the point. What it does manage to achieve is a well thought out structure and plot that shines a light that is a prevalent situation in this day and age. This was a real, awful incident that occurred, and while there’s no major car chases or action packed fight scenes, it is still an important film that sheds some light on an unfortunate and tragic belief system.