Slim and Queen’s first date takes an unexpected turn when a policeman pulls them over for a minor traffic violation. When the situation escalates, Slim takes the officer’s gun and shoots him in self-defence. Now labelled cop killers in the media, Slim and Queen feel that they have no choice but to go on the run and evade the law. When a video of the incident goes viral, the unwitting outlaws soon become a symbol of trauma, terror, grief and pain for people all across the country.
Plot: A couple’s (Daniel Kaluuya & Jodie Turner-Smith) first Tinder date takes an unexpected and turn of events when a police officer pulls them over.
Director: Melina Matsoukas
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
Runtime: 105 min
Rotten Tomatoes Consensus: Stylish, provocative, and powerful, Queen & Slim tells a gripping fugitive story steeped in timely, thoughtful subtext.
“Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith are the perfect duo.”
Queen, a criminal defense attorney has an awkward dinner date with her Tinder connection Slim. After their semi-successful dinner Slim starts to drive Queen home where his ‘erratic driving’ attracts the attention of a police officer who pulls the two over. From here things start to get worse when the officer (clearly off the wall) makes Slim step out of the car after not complying with his orders.
The aggressive and agitated officer searches the trunk of Slim’s car for anything to warrant an arrest until he eventually draws his gun on him for no reason — from here, Queen gets out of the car and tries to record the incident on her phone and the officer takes a shot at her, grazing her leg. Now, the situation is extremely uncomfortable and dangerously out of control so Slim tackles the officer, grabs his gun and shoots him.
At this point Queen tells Slim that they have two options; either go on the run or spend the rest of their lives in prison. Choosing to run, they drive until they eventually run out of gas. Stranded on the side of the highway, the two of them flag down a pickup truck for help. The driver who stops, Edgar, turns out to be a Kentucky sheriff. When they three of them arrive at the next gas station, Edgar gets a notice on his radio about the Ohio officer’s death and identifies Queen and Slim as the suspects. Running out of options and with quick thinking they hold Edgar at gunpoint and steal his truck, trapping him in their broken-down car’s trunk.
What happens next? You’ll need to check out the film to see it for yourself!
In conclusion —
One of my movie pet-peeves is when we get 15-30 minutes of dead-lead in — you know the empty background that fills the runtime? Good news is that Queen and Slim doesn’t waste your time — you start off at the restaurant with the two meeting on their Tinder date and watching their lives unfold from that point on. The most important aspect, the biggest plus this film offers is the chemistry between the main duo of Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith. This movie could’ve been three hours long and it wouldn’t be enough time watching them develop into their roles — I’d like to see them together again in the future. Is this a modern-day Bonnie and Clyde? On the surface, sure, but it’s deeper than that with layers that continue to form as time carries on and their relationship continues to develop.
Queen and Slim is always moving forward to the next obstacle of the story and it’s constantly engaging. While the main duo is the obvious highlight, the minor characters play their roles perfectly behind the beautiful visuals from Matsoukas — even the soundtrack is top notch and matches the vibe of the film perfectly.
The bonus features on this disc include a behind-the-scenes look at the creative partnership between director/producer Melina Matsoukas and screenwriter/producer Lena Waithe, a behind the scenes look with the cast and crew, commentary and more. I enjoyed the ‘Off The Script’ feature which has screenwriter Lena Waithe read from her original screenplay — check that out.
Taking everything I’ve said into account, Queen and Slim gets my recommendation for an automatic day-one purchase. Beyond the Blu-ray, there will be a 4K UHD edition available which has the ingredients to be great transfer, so do yourself a favor, grab a copy at your local retailer when it releases on 4K & Blu-ray March 3rd. You won’t be disappointed. It’s one of the better films of 2019, don’t sleep on it.
Did you catch Queen & Slim in theater? Were you a fan of this movie? Will you be picking it up to own? Let me know what you think in the comments below.
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