Tully (Joe Anderson) is the Neo-Nazi, just released from prison. Upon his release, he is met by Doreen (Dawn Olivieri), another member of the same collective, who is there to drive him to his first meeting with a parole officer. Instead, Tully murders a black police officer during a routine traffic stop and forces them to hide out from police choppers. They pick a secluded house, where Mr. Walker (Danny Glover) lives with his wife Odessa (Lela Rochon), two kids Anthony (Evan Ross) and Cassie (Robin Bobeau), and Cassie's kid Jamar (Alex Henderson) and her newborn baby. With the cops crawling the area and tension building in the house, Mr. Walker is forced to improvise in order to keep his family safe. Complicating matters further: his estranged police officer son Raymond (Derek Luke), one of the many officers on the case.
Based on the first fifteen minutes of the movie, one would expect Supremacy to be a home invasion thriller, the kind that plays out in what is essentially real time as the sun rises, while Mr. Walker figures out what to do. Instead, the movie meanders all over the place, both narratively and chronologically. A bizarrely complicated series of strategic moves are made by the characters that frequently make no sense. One of the hostages leaves the house and then returns for no apparent reason. Another stands up to the intruders, calling their bluff before walking out, but doesn't think to take the rest of the remaining hostages with them. At one point, Mr. Walker puts faith in his unwelcome houseguests' promise not to hurt anyone and is somehow surprised when they turn out to be untrustworthy. Throughout, we are provided with unnecessary flashbacks explaining aspects of Tully and Doreen that aren't interesting or revealing, and would be better served cut down and placed properly in the film's timeline.
The great ambition of Supremacy seems to be the humanization of its characters. It's not hard to understand the impulse of a writer to give some shades and other facets to characters as reprehensible as a pair of white supremacists, but -- surprise, surprise -- it's hard to watch people spew hatred and then be asked to empathize with them, even on a distant and twisted level. In one of the movie's major dramatic scenes, Doreen reveals to Jamar, the second-youngest child, that she once had a boy his age, and the government took the kid away from her. It's a prelude to one of the movie's most empty bait-and-switch beats, a moment of dramatic whiplash in which neither direction the viewer is jerked in has any meaning or resonance. At other times, the film reveals cracks in the racists' beliefs, such as when Doreen professes her love for their exotic names and Tully bonds with Mr. Walker over their shared prison experience. There may be truth in the idea that some people's racism stems from their own self-loathing, but here it feels distinctly shallow.
On top of all of this, the movie still has to time find to cram in the family drama going on between Raymond and Mr. Walker, which adds nothing to the characters or the story of note. The film's final stretch switches gears again to become a hostage drama, in which Glover and Luke are mostly left to stand around staring, waiting for something to happen. The performances, especially Olivieri's, occasionally find some notes of compelling drama to mine, but they're drops of interest in a sea of mediocrity. The film ends with a dedication to the officer who was killed, but this hacky movie isn't a fitting tribute. The movie's simplification of the kind of racism at the heart of the story only serves to emphasize what's being lost in the translation to the screen.
The Video and Audio
Sound is a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track which is never quite as impressive as the picture but certainly sounds fine. This is a small, claustrophobic thriller, so there's a minimal amount of aural pyrotechnics going on for the track to really show off. It's mostly heavy breathing in tight spaces, and tense dialogue, but it sounds good. English captions for the deaf and hard of hearing are also included.
Trailers for Sword of Vengeance, These Final Hours, and Enter the Dangerous Mind play before the main menu and are accessible there under "Previews". An original theatrical trailer for Supremacy is also included.