Howdy ladies and gents, time for another film review and today I’m starting my 2015 film catch up sessions with Dope. Now I heard a lot of good things about this film during the time of its release and I did have the opportunity to see it, but because of work and me being lazy I gave it a miss. However after seeing it today I can easily say that this would have been in my top 10 of last year because Dope was that good and I’m gonna tell you why in this review.
The story can be described as the following:
“Life changes for Malcolm, a geek who’s surviving life in a tough neighborhood, after a chance invitation to an underground party leads him and his friends into a Los Angeles adventure.”
The interesting thing about this film was that I was never sure about where it was going, at first it came across as a day in the life of the main three characters with a coming-of-age kind of vibe and while this film certainly has those elements, it snowballs and escalates into totally unexpected areas. This film covers a lot of interesting issues like being unique, growing up in school, the stereotypical elements that people associate with black people and making tough moral and ethical decisions among other things. And while there are certain aspects of the story that I kind of expected to see in this film, at the same time the way said events go down aren’t so typical. This film is smart, refreshing, dramatic and gives a harsh yet realistic look at what life is like for some young people.
The performances in this film were great too. Shameik Moore just killed it as Malcolm Adekanbi, here he had a guy who was confident, and smart inside and outside of school, however this film took him on a journey which really allowed him to experience some life lessons in gowing up, being responsible and adapting to new situations, and I thought Moore acted with such passion, charisma and realism. Tony Revolori and Kiersey Clemons were also gret as James “Jib” Caldones and Cassandra “Diggy” Andrews. Both had interesting perks and charms that made them so fun to watch, and together with Moore, all three of these actors had great chemistry and you bought their friendship. In addition to the main trio, Chanel Iman was incredibly hot and very hilarious as Lily, while A$AP Rocky was pretty cool and dangerous as Dom, Zoë Kravitz provided some interesting style, beauty and playfulness as Nakia and Blake Anderson was strange yet funny as Will.
I also really loved the music in this film. While it was primarily hip hop inspired, there were some other interesting choices included that really gave this film a unique flavour and amplified the action on-screen. I really got into some of the songs especially when it came to A Tribe Called Quest, Pete Rock or Korn, but what I didn’t expect to like was the sound of Awreeoh especially when it came to “Can’t Bring Me Down“, that song just had such a nice energy and catchy sound, it was one of my favourite parts hearing it for the first time.
In the end Dope was really good film. The film had me smiling, shocked and excited, but at the center of it all it had my attention and that is thanks to an engaging story, but also a stellar performance from all of the cast and well-crafted soundtrack. I recommend this film very highly!
So have you seen Dope and if so what did you think of it? Please be sure to leave your thoughts in comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀