When you make a Hip-Hop inspired movie and name it Dope, it better be good.
Forest Whitacker, Sean “Diddy” Combs, and Pharrell Williams produced this coming-of-age film that stars Shameik Moore, Kiersey Clemons, Tony Revolori, and Zoe Kravitz. Moore plays Malcolm, a nerdy, highly intelligent, 90’s Hip-Hop loving, high school student. He and his friends Diggy (Clemons) and Jib (Revolori) are pretty much the same. They are outcasts of sorts. On their way home they encounter neighborhood dope boy Dom, played by A$AP Rocky, who invites them to his underground party. Nerds at a dope boys party?? That can’t be good.
Things go awry which sets up a very interesting and entertaining hour and 55 minutes. The movie trailer does a good job of not giving the audience too much info about what’s really happening. You might think it’s sort of a House Party type flick, but it only compares to that in terms of Hip-Hop culture. The plot is totally different. I guess you could say it’s Boyz N the Hood meets 16 Candles.
The movie is directed wonderfully. Malcolm and his crew are misfits, but aren’t trying to gain acceptance. They are truly comfortable in their own skin. The adventure they embark upon gets them out of their comfort zone and it’s so fun to watch! I mean, the scenarios are hilarious! If you’re over 35, this film will definitely resonate with you in terms of nostalgia. The music they use throughout Dope is ill! It took me back to my high school/college days. I WISH they still played music like that!
The storyline is refreshing and there’s a plot twist that you won’t see coming. As far as the acting, everyone does an excellent job. Zoe Kravitz’s character is one that you’ll find yourself rooting for, as well as Malcolm’s. She’s a product of her environment, but wants more and we all know someone like that. Supporting actors keep the action going when the lead actors’ stories take a break so you’re not just sitting in your seat waiting for the film to pick up. There’s no overkill of silly, stereotypical violence, either. Great movies can be made without all that, and this is a GREAT movie. The plot twist’s resolution is kind of complicated so you may be like, “Wait, what? Ohhhhhh, ok. I get it now”. You will have to think about it, though. I’ll put Dope up there with coming-of-age films like The Breakfast Club any day. The storyline is dope. The performances are dope. The directing is dope. This move is Three times Dope! That’s word to EST, the acknickulous one (Google him)!
A lot of low-budget films are cliché and have bad direction. Not this one! John Singleton and The Hughes Brothers will be proud of new director Rick Famuyiwa. Dude did his thang. I hope this ushers in more coming-of-age films because they’ve been non-existent and the ones that have been made lately are wack. I laughed along with the teenagers in the theater and laughed even more at the 90’s references. I think 15-20 minutes could’ve been shaved off the film, but other than that, I loved it.
Dope gets a FULL-PRICE CO-SIGN! It’s in limited release, so if you can find a theater that carries it, go check it out, y’all.
We all have favorite Hip-Hop moments. What’s yours?
This is Chilly B signing out. Word!
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