June 26, 2015

Dope (2015)

Dope (2015) - Movie Review
Directed by: Rick Fumuyiwa
Country: USA

Movie Review: “Dope” is a diverting juvenile comedy set in the tough L.A. neighborhood of Inglewood. Its first frame defines three possibilities for the word that composes its title and each definition relates somehow to the story of Malcolm (Shameik Moore), a geeky black high-school senior who is introduced to us when he stops pedaling to stare at Nakia (Zoe Kravitz), apparently a girl beyond his reach. Always followed by his also geek friends, Diggy (Kiersey Clemons), who dresses as a boy and doesn’t admit white guys to call her ‘nigga’, and Jib (Tony Revolori), a Latino who is totally accepted as part of the clan, the Harvard-aspirant Malcolm will disregard important school exams and interviews when in possession of a backpack containing dope and a gun, material belonging to Nakia’s dealer boyfriend. Without knowing what to do and chased by other dealers, the three friends end up relying on Will, a white, dope-addict partygoer who suggests selling the stuff online. The scheme is carried out with some risk, like entering the school and avoid being frisked by the complacent security guard. But the real key to success is the indirect help of Lily (Chanel Iman), a wasted, frivolous, wild girl with whom they come across. She triggers the nastiest scene of the film when pukes on Malcolm’s face while jumping naked on top of him. Rousing and well disposed, “Dope” only wasn’t better because of some improbable situations portrayed in the sometimes-shaky script by director Rick Famuyiwa - one of them was the romance between the horny Malcolm and Nakia. While most of the jokes are effective, the supposedly funny scenes aren’t so good after all, with exception of a raucous stealing of a sneaker and the fact that the trio of pals, being devoted to the hip-hop of the 90s, plays a totally different style in their band, creating a deliberate case of absurdness. “Dope” is a teen pleaser, and Mr. Famuyiwa gives a positive step in a directorial career that had been trivial until this release.

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