Cinema Review: Dope


Posted October 10, 2015 in Cinema Reviews, Film

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Dope

Director: Rick Famuyiwa

Talent: Shameik Moore, A$AP Rocky, Kiersey Clemons, Tony Revolori

Release Date: 4th September 2015

 

Malcolm (Shameik Moore) is a nerd and ’90s hip-hop aficionado in an Inglewood high school with aspirations of going to Harvard. He becomes accidentally inveigled in a drug bust gone wrong after making the acquaintance of Dom (A$AP Rocky), a local dealer whose gun and stash of MDMA finds its way into Malcolm’s backpack, precipitating a pursuit from some rival gang members and the further, pressing question of how to get rid of it.

Dope presents an unfortunately (but perhaps inevitably) cartoonish vision of Inglewood. Token gestures towards progressivism, such as best friend Diggy’s (Kiersey Clemons) unproblematised queerness and a running debate about white people using that word belie a narrative that is hyper-individualistic and entrepreneurial in its approach to ‘surmounting the race problem’. Ultimately, the film is entertaining, but somewhat naïve (and at worst disingenuous and condescending) in its treatment of pertinent issues facing America that it pretends to tackle head-on.

Words: Oisín Murphy-Hall

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