Darth Kriss Profile picture
Jan 11, 2018 28 tweets 4 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Let's talk #ThreeBillboards and why Sam Rockwell's character, Dixon, has a trash ass character arc that ruins the whole movie. It's basically the prime example of the problem with the white perspective when making films
I did that rant as part of a review I was doing for The Commuter. But i got on the topic of Three Billboards because there's this theme of making trash ass white cops seem like they're still "good people"
just a warning, there will be some spoilers here for #ThreeBillboards
First some caveats. 1. I think its a "good" movie. 2. The acting in it is great. I actually think Rockwell deserves at a minimum a best supporting because he plays a racist/bigoted cop so well
But that's also my problem with the overall film. They basically set Dixon up as this HORRIBLE violent piece of shit then at one point they pivot to "redeeming" him. It's completely bullshit
let's run down some of the things Dixon does in this film:

1. He's KNOWN for beating up and being violent with black suspects

2. He commits arson

3. To get at Mildred he arrests her coworker for weed. Coworker happens to be a black woman
4. He violently attacks and beats a gay man. the gay man helping Mildred with the billboards. he throws this man out a 2nd story window & damn near kills him
he literally then walks back across the street into the police station. he did this in BROAD DAYLIGHT in his uniform
All these things are just things he does as cops (except the arson). That doesn't get into him and his racist ass mother and how they're clearly racist
At no point does he actually answer for any of this stuff or is he held accountable by other officers or the people of the town
it takes an outside, "magical negro" cop who is the new acting chief (he literally comes out of no where with no real explanation as to why here's there) before dixon is fired
and even then. he's still just only fired. The new police chief WITNESSED HIM NEARLY KILL THAT GAY MAN.
then they start this trash ass redemptive arc for Dixon where Harrelson's character, the former police chief leaves him a letter basically saying "i know in your heart you're a good man and can be a good detective"
He then gets burned in the fire when Mildred tries to burn the police station (she thought it was empty) and Dixon then becomes this "sympathetic character"
he then finally tries to do police work and fine the man who murdered Mildred's daughter. The new black police chief even tells him he did a good job when he gets dna from a suspect (even though he's been fired)
Dixon is "forgiven" by the white gay man and Mildred apologizes to him for burning him.

at NO POINT, does Dixon ever apologize or is he held accountable for his actions. none
the film ends with him and mildred riding off into the sunset on some vigilante quest to kill a rapist. It's bullshit. its white nonsense
what SHOULD have happened was that Dixon should have been revealed as the rapist murderer of Mildred's daughter. all the signs are there
He's terrible with women. he feels emasculated my his mother and mildred. he uses his position of power as an officer to absurd people of color and marginalized people
he's clearly the murderer. and it would have had more impact if they revealed him to be the culprit because then there would be the obvious commentary on how police departments protect predators in their midst
instead, they ruin any attempt of that by making it seem like a violent, racist, bigot can be redeemed. His "redemption" is COMPLETELY unearned.
This is what happens when white people make movies and don't have any context on the terrible consequences of racism
they think that shit can just be washed away if the racist ends up getting the smallest of consequences
Worse? The fact that Mildred felt bad for accidentally burning Dixon is also trash and #WhiteFeminism
One of the first people to help her is a black dude who is also fed up with the police in the town. Her coworker is a black woman who supports her
Both have had run-ins with Dixon's racist ass and yet Mildred doesn't really give a shit and is still quick to forgive and bond with Dixon
I need white film makers to do a better job in 2018 and forward. Just 1 black person writing this would be enough to go "okay, let me tell you why this ending ruins the entire movie"
and it sucks because the acting in it is great. Rockwell is GREAT as an evil cop. too bad they try to make him sympathetic

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