The film breathes exhilarating life into its tired premise, thanks to some dazzling action choreography, stylish visuals and–most importantly–a vintage anti-hero performance from Keanu Reeves.
ReBecca Theodore-Vachon is the Film/TV Editor at TheUrbanDaily.com. She also runs her own blog FilmFataleNYC.blogspot.com and co-hosts "Cinema in Noir" podcast on Sundays BlogTalkRadio 6PM-7PM EST. You can find her on Twitter: @FilmFatale_NYC
"12 Years a Slave" and "The Butler" are part of a valuable subgenre of American film that dramatizes the fallacy of "Black respectability"—the notion that if African-Americans will only speak, dress and behave in a certain way, discrimination won't affect them, and they'll reap the American dream.