Get on the Bus (1996)
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Critic Reviews for Get on the Bus
It's a simple, appealing premise and filmmaker Spike Lee uses it to full comic advantage.
A vital regeneration of a filmmaker's talent as well as a bracing and often very funny dramatization of urgent sociopolitical themes...
Though Lee's deft expertise keeps things pacy and (mostly) plausible, the material can't avoid a certain predictability and, in the end, a preachy sentimentality.
While the film assembles a full array of black male stereotypes and conines them to what is essentially a talky one-set play, Mr. Lee stylistically jump-starts this small, earnest film in every way he can.
It's two hours of men sitting on a bus talking, but the talk is alive. Lee keeps the scenes short, so that nothing ever resolves completely.
Audience Reviews for Get on the Bus
Here Spike Lee tackles black history as always, but this time presents more rounded arguments and opinions.
A cross-section of African-American men travel cross-country by bus to the Million Man March. There are films that rise above their politics, films that promote a particular political ideology but also tell an intimate, human story. In literature, I think of Upton Sinclair's The Jungle as a representative example. This is not one of those films. Spike Lee's Get on the Bus is so pat and obvious in its politics that it doesn't get a chance to breathe on its own and its characters never rise above the types they represent. Lee's talent keeps the film afloat, and his camera tricks give the film an energy that we've come to expect from a "Spike Lee Joint," but the real problem remains in the script. This is not Lee or writer Reggie Rock Bythewood debating with himself; if you're confused about the film's politics, Charles S. Dutton lays it all out at the end for you. Overall, I don't have a lot of opinions about the political statements themselves, but I can say that the film is confined by its message.
Preachy Spike Lee rather than stylish Spike Lee spoils an otherwise decent film.
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