I am a big Spike Lee fan, I think he’s one of those filmmakers with such an important voice that everyone needs to watch his filmography. So when I learned about 25th Hour, I was surprised that I had never heard of it before. And while reading about it beforehand and watching it I couldn’t understand how this was a Spike Lee film, it just didn’t feel like one of his movies. But that’s not a bad thing really, because it’s still a very good movie, it just doesn’t feel like a Spike Lee movie.
25th Hour isn’t really hard to watch, emotional yes but you never feel uncomfortable. Which is weird when you think about the subject. It plays on your emotions the whole time and leaves you breathless. It gives you hope only to take it back and it does it perfectly with it’s ending. It gives you a little hope that Edward Norton’s character, Monty, will be able to run away and have the life he dreams but instead it takes all of that away and ends with an ending that just leaves you speechless.
It’s an ending that looking at it after a few hours of having watched the film sums up life so perfectly. Monty knew where he was going this whole time, the whole film is him accepting it. And when he finally starts to accept it, someone gives him a little hope only to have it all taken away. It’s something that showcases the best and worst of humanity. Monty did bad things in his life to survive and he needs to pay for his sins but at the same time we have started to love him and it’s hard for us to not want him to get his happy ending.
25th Hour never feels like a Spike Lee movie and maybe I missed that a little too much just because of how much I loved Lee’s voice as a filmmaker but I think that the film works even without it. There’s something quite special about the film, outside of the superb acting. I can’t quite describe my feelings because I think that this whole film leads to its knockout ending really and I don’t want to spoil too much.
25th Hour isn’t Spike Lee’s best work but it’s a piece of art that deserves love and recognition because it’s damn impressive.