It is a road movie set on a bus, where 12 men are bound for the Million Man March of October 16, 1995 - where blacks, spurned on by controversial "civil righter" Minister Farrakhan, marched on Washington DC to discuss strategies for "initiating positive changes in their communities and homes".
Having burnt most of his bridges (with films that just didn't catch fire at the box office) and pissing off most of the world's press with his truculent attitude, Spike Lee has picked the right moment to pull an ace out of the pack.
As a two-fingered salute to the studios, the film has been funded with the aid of 15 African-American men including Will Smith and Wesley Snipes. A razor-sharp cast features Dutton as a group leader, Davis as old man Jeremiah, Steve White as a gay former Marine, Washington as mixed-race cop Kyle, Andre Braugher as aggressive, out-of-work actor, Flip, and Gabriel Casseus as Jamal, a recent convert to Islam. Inevitably such a mixed bag makes for a fractious, combustible and highly entertaining journey. Plus there's the added bonus of a smart soundtrack including a (gasp) likeable Babyface-penned Michael Jackson contribution, Curtis Mayfield and James Brown. Marvellous stuff.
After bowing to Hollywood studio demands with Girl 6, Lee has gone small, lean and provocative again with this smart, multi-layered take on the African-American experience.