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The L.A. Riot Spectacular (2005)

Cast: Chris McDonald, Chris McDonald, Emilio Estevez, more...
Director: Marc Klasfeld, Marc Klasfeld
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Image Entertainment
Genre: Comedies
Running Time: 80 min.
Languages: English
    see additional details...

The controversial satire The LA Riot Spectacular plays for mordent laughs the events that consumed L.A. in 1992, after the police officers on trial for beating motorist Rodney King were found innocent. The city was engulfed by a massive riot, but the film plays these moments for laughs. In addition to recreating some of the images seen on television, the film skewers a variety of figures including the police, the media, and the citizens of the city. ~ Perry Seibert, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

It's A Riot! by ZenBones October 16, 2006 - 4:38 PM PDT
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful
I don't know why, but it seems to me the best films about race are always comedies. "CSA: Confederate States of America", "A Day in Black and White", "A Day Without a Mexican" and now this extremely edgy comedy, all tell the truth. Not a surface truth like glossy crap such as "Crash" that makes it look like every member of the cast (no matter what their ethnic background) lunches at Pinot regularly. There's an intrinsic truth here that looks at racism for what it is, which is madness and power, whether it's cops or gangs or any fearful citizen trying to balance that power with a gun. When it comes to stuff like that, there's really no better way than to reveal it than with humor. It's like taking Rambo and revealing the fact that his true soul is a tiny monomaniacal 'Mini Me' jumping up and down to get attention. The tough guy must be revealed! We all know all bigotry stems from insecurity, so what better way than to reveal it through humor? If we try to reveal it with sober deliberation or maudlin sentimentality, people just get cynical. If the cynicism is already there though, we have no choice but to laugh at ourselves. We are ridiculous; all of us.

The effects of the riots were not funny, and the film doesn't laugh at that. But it does laugh at our human nature, which is always dispensable, and at the one target that can never be lampooned enough; the media. One of my favorite lines in the film:

TV Announcer (as arson fires are spreading all over the city): Mayor Bradley praises gang members for offering free heating to the homeless.

It's that kind of humor. If the Abrahms/Zucker team that made "Airplane" have an edge, this would be the film they would make. The film was shot in DV, but that was a wise choice because it makes it actually difficult at times to separate their footage from the real news footage. The film sports a surprisingly big-name cast; Snoop Dog, Emilio Estevez, Ronny Cox, Charles Dutton, Christopher McDonald, TK Carter, Ted Levine, Ron Jeremy (!), and the guy with possibly the funniest lines in the film; George Hamilton. The fact that the film never saw a wide release and practically went straight to DVD I think is because of its fearsome political incorrectness; the sort that makes the Hollywood community writhe in discomfort. Their films like "Crash" perpetuate all the stereotypes and myths that those white people who live in the hills want to believe are true. This film shows the reality, and the reality is INSANE! I forget who said it, but a quote that gets a lot of mileage is: "if we don't laugh we go insane". I'm all for a lot more movies like this!

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 9.00)
2 Votes
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