Review: Dope


By Christian DiMartino

I tried to catch as many movies as I could this last summer. In fact, there were some that I wish I could have missed (cough cough Fantastic Four). Dope was one that I surprisingly missed out on, and I say that is a surprise because I at least tried to tackle the acclaimed movies. Dope is okay, but I do not quite understand the hype.

The film revolves around a teen named Malcolm (Shameik Moore), a geek who, along with his friends Diggy (Kiersey Clemons) and Jib (Tony Revolori from last year’s The Grand Budapest Hotel), share a love for 90s music what not. It is sort of clear from the get-go that writer/director Rick Famuyiwa is a big fan of Friday, and wants to bring that sort of thing back again.

One thing leads to another, and the trio is invited to this underground party. Of course, you know this cannot be smooth sailing. The next day, Malcolm finds a bunch of drugs in his backpack, along with a gun, and from then on the trio are sent on an adventure through Los Angeles.

The film is fairly entertaining, as you would expect from any comedy involving drugs. But yet, to my surprise, I did not find it all that funny. It has the occasional moment, but it never really gets past that. Maybe this sort of thing (masturbation jokes and what not), is not my sense of humor. But yet I can find these things funny when the joke is pulled off the right way. Not that these jokes fall flat, just that I have seen some of them before.

The acting is fairly solid for a comedy. The trio of up-and-comers manage to hold your attention the entire time. But yet the film seemed to ramble a bit in its last half hour.

It is not a film that I disliked, but yet I wanted to like it more. I wanted to join the party and give this film the credit that everyone else did. Maybe I just missed the joke.

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