Thursday, March 26, 2020

Review: The Banker

Release date: March 20, 2020
Running time: 120 minutes
Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Nicholas Hoult, Anthony Mackie 

Based on a true story, The Banker follows two African American bankers Joe Morris (Jackson) and Bernard Garrett (Mackie)  during the 1950s and 60s.  The pair hoped to get into real estate to both achieve their goals of being landowners and bankers. But as expected, this was a difficult, nearly impossible proposition for African Americans at the time.  Faced with racism and the other evils of this time, the two were still determined to follow their dreams and bent, and even broke, the rules to make it there.  

This movie is a treat.  With great star power and a story that many have never heard of but might appreciate and even relate to, this movie definitely delivers the goods. Starting with the star power, this is not the first time Samuel L. Jackson and Anthony Mackie have shared the screen, and this collaboration still does not disappoint.  And the inclusion of Nia Long was a bonus; she is timeless and always elevates a film.  I am glad Apple TV+ decided to go forward with the release of this film; it might not have seen the light of day after it was halted in December due to allegations against co-producer and actor Bernard Garrett Jr.  But if it had not, this story might not have reached a wide audience!  The movie has both a ton of real estate information and Samuel L. Jackson's characteristic comedy.  And the movie strikes the right balance of accurately presenting the racism that these two experienced without feeling like it was trying to be edgy.  

A story that highlights African Americans who were able to take action in remedying situations and circumstances that violate their civil rights, providing opportunities for others and giving back to the community is definitely a story that I can get behind.  This film not only tells this story, but also educates the audience on matters that are still relevant to the world today.  And the reverberations from these two men's actions did enact real change.  Stellar performances, with a story that was easy to get behind even with the complicated Real Estate math, the movie flows great and is entertaining while educating at the same time. 

The Banker tells an important, timely story with great charisma between its stars and manages to entertain while educating about complex issues.

Watch it

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