Spike Lee made his bones in the indie film world by making movies about life in Brooklyn. Films like She’s Gotta Have It and Do the Right Thing set the tone for what eventually became known as his Chronicles of Brooklyn anthology. The director hasn’t explored this particular corner of his film universe since 1998’s He Got Game, however, so it was starting to look like subject matter he had fully explored and put away. That is, until the promotion for Red Hook Summer started. Not only has this film been heralded as being a new inclusion into the Chronicles of Brooklyn, some have been calling it a direct sequel to Do the Right Thing, largely because Lee is appearing in the film as his old character, Mookie.
But now that we’ve seen the first trailer, that seems to be overstating things. While Do the Right Thing was a snapshot of youth culture in Brooklyn at a certain moment in time, Red Hook Summer seems to be a much more personal, coming-of-age movie about the journey one character takes. That character is Flik Royale (Jules Brown), a young man from a nice neighborhood in Atlanta who is sent to live with his Bishop grandfather (Clarke Peters) in one of the shadier parts of Brooklyn for the summer.
Red Hook Summer looks at the importance of a father figure in a young boy’s life, of religion’s role in the community, and how different generations of people from the same place can chafe against each other if they don’t find common ground. If that all sounds kind of boring to you, don’t worry, it does to Flik as well. Thankfully, he also meets a girl. That should provide the film with a fun hanging-out-in-Brooklyn montage or two. And there’s still the question of what exactly Mookie is going to be up to that should help keep everyone intrigued.
Red Hook Summer is in theaters on August 10th. [Apple]