Director Spike Lee’s intentionally inflammatory and occasionally reckless approach to doing the right cinematic thing with issues of bigotry, interracial sex and being black in America now engulfs the life of a white New York City drug dealer. Monty Brogan (Edward Norton in a role originally to be played by pre-Spider-Man
Tobey Maguire) is on his last day before entering prison to serve a seven-year sentence. The “pretty boy” peddler has three choices: go on the lam, catch the bullet train (shoot himself) or go to jail, where he more than likely will become a rape victim and remain for the rest of his life. Lee builds Monty’s story of tortured introspection and his final surprising, desperate act before incarceration through boldly candid conversations and flashbacks. This messy, sometimes idea-clogged film explores such territory as the post-9/11 mood and rhythm of Manhattan and backstage Wall Street, the accumulated fractures and loyalty of lifelong friendship, and a slice of humanity with which you do not want to cross paths under any circumstance.