Shameik Moore, Tony Revolori,
June 19, 2015
Open Road Films
1 hour 55 minutes
Who would have known that a film that made itself out to be an R rated Tyler Perry film set in the ghetto in the trailers would be so smart and funny? Well I didn't think that at all until my eyes feasted upon the new film "Dope." Written and directed by Rick Famuyiwa, the film stars Shameik Moore in his breakout role as Malcolm, a straight-A student living in the ghetto town of Inglewood, CA, where drugs and crime reign supreme. What makes Malcolm and his friends, played by "The Grand Budapest Hotel's" Tony Revolori and TV actress Kiersey Clemons, different from other typical movie nerds is their love for 90s hip-hop music. Life starts getting out of control for Malcolm and his friends when he, after being invited to a drug dealer's birthday party, ends up with an illegal and expensive responsibility on his hands. Oh, and did I mention that he's pursuing an acceptance to the pristine Harvard University all at the same time? It's tough to be a geek in the ghetto, now isn't it?
Aside from making a huge splash at this year's Sundance Film Festival, "Dope" also managed to get its way into the Director's Fortnight selections at the Cannes Film Festival. Judging solely from the trailers, it may be hard to see why considering how it doesn't seem like the type of movie that would play at a festival that mostly plays prestigious and artsy films from high profile directors. Past all of the n-words, heavy drug use, and sexual content, however, is an intelligent and hilarious film that deserves every single little bit of praise it's gotten thus far. This movie is consistently funny, filled with great acting and superb writing, and overall is a relatable, surprisingly poignant, and extremely entertaining and fun movie that I cannot wait to see again. If "Dope" wasn't on your radar before, I'd suggest getting it high up on there immediately. The film is called "Dope" for a reason, that reason being that it really is a "dope" movie.