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Friday, June 19, 2015

Dope (2015) Movie Review


The Good: The film does an amazingly good job of blending both drama and comedy together. The comedic moments are well timed, unpredictable, and don't disrupt the serious moments of the movie. Writer and director Rick Famuyiwa (The Wood, Brown Sugar) does an excellent job of having the over arching themes all connect seamlessly with all of the side stories that happen within the the film.  The plot itself is layered with ironic twists and a satisfying ending. Best of all, there's an even greater message that this movie portrays for the audience that ties everything all together. Each of the actors do a really good job of playing their roles. Shameik Moore (as "Malcolm") does an especially good job of portraying the role of a true geek. His character's development and maturation process will have you on his side from beginning to end.

The Bad: The film dives  into some really technical computer related topics (i.e. online currency, black market websites, etc) that may just go over the heads of the average movie goer. Hell, I'm an IT professional, and some of the topics discussed were things I only recently learned about last year. Granted, the techy things they discuss are explained to an extent, and they don't necessarily ruin the movie. However, I do get the feeling that some people may miss the full implication of what happens during one specific scene. Lastly, there are a lot of "N-words" dropped throughout the film. While it does stay true within the context of the film, I believe that it will also alienate the film to being stuck in the "black movie" category.

The Reason: Overall, I fear that many will not see this movie, but many should see this movie. I came into it with EXTREMELY LOW expectations, and I left the theater pleasantly surprised. (Matter of fact, I went back to see it again) The trailers do it no justice, and make the film seem like some random straight to dvd rental. In my opinion, this film accomplishes what most movies today lack; good writing, good directing, original story, and most importantly something to think about when the movie is over. Take this review with a grain of salt because I feel a little biased due to the fact that I can personally relate to this movie. I'm black and I grew up as a nerd (I know this is probably a shock to most, but I wasn't always this cool.) Even if this film doesn't appeal to most, I'll still stand behind it and I do recommend checking it out. It may be cliche` to say, but Dope was dope. (Theaters or at home, whatever you choose)

The Rating: 8/10

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