| Clockers is a gritty look at
Harlem street life and the drug hewn path. It's probably director Spike Lee's most
conventional film, though Lee can't resist pulling out some camera tricks.
When Rodney Little, a drug dealer who runs the kids peddling his poison on the street , asks Strike, his main corner clocker to perform a small service in the form of murder as a requisite for his moving up the drug ladder, Strikes world turns upside down. Writer Richard Price creates some interesting contrasts in the character of Strike that translate with cinematic power. His hobby of model railroad trains go a long way to understanding elements of Strike and why the plot plays out in other than obvious fashion. Clockers is fashioned with power and care. The complexities of the story are woven tightly. Directed by Spike Lee, Clockers proves Lee capable of some direct and hard-edged movie making.
Lee has cast newcomer Mekhi Phifer
in the pivotal role of Strike, the young drug dealer at the center of Clockers Phifer
is merely adequate. Hes not up to carrying the film. His performance is played too
much as a one note sonata. Harvey Keitel turns in another strong performance as the cop on
Strikes case. Clockers might have been a better movie with more exposition on
Keitels Rocco Klein, but then, thats not Lees focus. Stalwart performer
Delroy Lindo laces Rodney the drug lord with extreme menace.