You should well aware know by now how we roll on S & A. Always questioning and stirring up stuff,especially when it comes to the never ending and vexing problem of black images in films and TV.
So a few days ago I finally caught up with the legal thriller The Lincoln Lawyer, with Matthew McConaughey, and as legal thrillers go, it was so-so. Nothing special to write home about. Remove the F-bombs and some sex scenes and it would be been a perfect, middle-of-the-road 20th Century Fox film starring Paul Newman back in 1962. It played that way.
But in case you didn’t know, the main premise with McConaughey’s character, Mick Haller, is that his office is the back seat of a chauffeured driven 1980’s Lincoln from which he does all his shady legal wheeling and dealing all over L.A. The car is driven by Earl played by Laurence Mason. O.K. I get it. The laid back, sexy, good looking lawyer who’s slicker than oil and his hip streetwise chauffeur cruising the streets, taking care of business and being too cool for words.
Except that throughout the entire film, Haller calls his driver “Earl” and Earl calls Haller “Boss”. That’s right, Boss as in “Yes Boss” and “No Boss”. Really? In this day and age? Never once does Earl call him “Mick” or is there any sense that they’re equals, or that Mick treats Earl with respect or if they’re even friends for that matter. And forget about any back-story or personal life for Earl or how they even met in the first place.
But of course, to make sure we know that everything is cool between them, Earl is always playing hip-hop in the car to let us know that Haller is cool like ‘dat.
Sorry, but all this constantly annoyed me throughout the film. I mean this is the 21st Century right? So why the throwback to the good old days when black people knew their place?
I also forgot to mention that later on in the film, Haller asks Earl to get him a gun because, of course, if there’s one thing EVERY black guy knows is where to get a gun and dope. At least Haller didn’t ask him to score some crack. I assume he’ll be doing that in the sequel.
So a I being sensitive again? I can’t help it. I was born that way