Malcolm is carefully surviving life in a tough neighborhood in Los Angeles while juggling college applications, academic interviews, and the SAT. A chance invitation to an underground party leads him into an adventure that could allow him to go from being a geek, to being dope…
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Don't get wrong, there is some funny shit in here. The knocks against Macklemore and Will Smith had me rollin'. The PSA tacked on at the end came out of nowhere. Spent the entire running time trying break away from certain stereotypes (only the leads by the way) whilst at the same time, reinforcing others. Shout out to my man Vince Staples!
Like 21 Jump St. except not funny. It's also so unfortunate and underwhelming how the film treats the female characters in Malcolm's crush, who has no personal story of her own, and especially Lili, who's there for the sake of nudity and humiliation. Coming in the same year as Tessa Thompson's great supporting role in Creed, this is clearly substandard stuff.
Full of energy and never dull, Dope is a prescient piece of contemporary filmmaking. The three main stars' spirit and out-of-the-box style drive the film, and it was refreshing to encounter black characters without deep discussions of race for the audience's sake. I also enjoyed the playful elements, such as the freeze frame of Malcolm driving the yellow mini, or when he's dreaming on the bus ride home.
There's a lot of wit to the characters and some smart screenwriting but overall Dope is quite uneven, denoting pacing issues and a muddy message. Still, what a star making performance by Shameik Moore…!
Charming , intelligent, and very entertaining. Performances are good all around, especially Shameik Moore as Malcolm. Even A$AP Rocky is great. Favorite quote: "I'm George W. Bush, motherfucker, I don't care about no vote!"
This was a really great film. It has the feel of a Wes Anderson film and it is engaging until the very end. In a cast full of relatively unknowns these actors have great presence and they bring this exceptional film to life.