By now, you should have heard about the new movie Dope that everyone at Sundance was obsessed with. In fact, the Rick Famuyiwa, written and directed film was in the middle of a $7 million deal with Open Road Films and Sony Pictures. So saying that it’s worth seeing is an understatement.
Famuyiwa highlighted an invisible character–the Black nerd. And what this does is makes an outcast into a hero and who doesn’t love that?
There’s three nerdy types–let’s call them urban nerds. Malcolm (Shameik Moore), Diggy (Kiersey Clemons) and Jib (Tony Revolori) are weirdos in their California neighborhood, school and just anywhere they go. They’re obsessed with the 90s and they even have a punk rock called Awreeoh (pronounced “Oreo”).
Malcolm randomly got an invite from A$AP Rocky, who plays a scary neighborhood gangster Dom, to a party where through a chain of unfortunate events, Malcolm ends up in possession of $100,000 worth of Dom’s ecstasy. Malcolm and his friends are seniors and they all think it’s about time for them to be cooler than what they are.
Malcolm has his eyes on Nakia (Zoe Kravitz), but so does Dom and remember, he’s scary. Not Deebo scary, but more like Dame Dash in State Property. So obviously Malcolm’s devotion causes issues, but the main concern is how Malcolm will handle the dope he found in his bag and how his choice will effect his ability to get into Harvard.
Dope brings together Malcolm’s under-the-radar nerdy world and Dom’s gangster lifestyle in a potent way that proves there’s hardly any difference between these two Black boys who grew up in the hood. One of them (Malcolm) happens to be seeking a better life than what he’s grown up knowing, but still gets caught up in hood traps that could ultimately land him in jail, ending his entire future.
However, Malcolm is able to use his book smarts and street smarts to create a digital drug dealing operation that impressed Dom’s big boss and also scared the hell out of him. Malcolm’s choices create so much anxiety, you’ll not only be thoroughly entertained by the punchlines in the film, but you’ll stay on the edge of your seat wondering how Malcolm’s going to get out of his latest predicament.
Dope has been called a “coming of age” film that reminds you of Juice, Boyz In The Hood, Menace To Society and Famuyiwa’s The Wood in its slice of Black life aesthetic, wit and charm.
If that’s not enough reason for you to see Dope, we’ve got five more:
1. Chanel Iman Gets Naked, Takes All The Drugs & Pees In The Bushes
Malcolm decides to take heed to Dom’s request from jail to take the drugs to his boss, AJ. In some type of interconnected R. Kelly, “Trapped in the Closet,” moment, you realize that AJ is far more connected than we know. While at AJ’s house, Malcolm meets his daughter, Lily, played by Chanel Iman. Clearly, she’s irresistibly beautiful, but she’s weird…or rather…on something. She ends up taking some of Malcolm’s, well Dom’s drugs and more crazy things happen that lead up to the gorgeous girl publicly peeing in the bushes. You’ll need to be on the lookout for the hilarious question, “How am I supposed to eat my pound cake?”
2. Malcolm, Diggy & Jib’s Friendship Will Melt Your Heart
The way that the main characters, Malcolm, Diggy and Jib keep their friendship in tact despite the most life-changing and devastating fate, is heart-warming. We don’t know if our best friends would want to stick around if we were stuck with $100k of ecstasy. No matter how crazy everything gets, they never leave Malcolm’s side. Ah, loyalty.
3. Tyga’s In It & He Gets Shot
We all hate him, right? Good! Because not only is Tyga in the movie, but he’s a shady drug dealer who gets shot. Don’t act like that doesn’t make you smile a little bit.
4. A$AP Rocky Is A Gangsta & It’s Kinda Sexy
We’ve heard people calling the skinny rapper with amazing hair sexy before, but we didn’t really get it…until now. A$AP plays a gangsta who seems to have been inspired by every gangsta character Dame Dash has ever played. You’re supposed to hate him in the movie because he comes off like a villain, but there’s something sweet about him. He’s intrigued by Malcolm’s intelligence, but obviously doesn’t have his best interest at heart, but he kinda does because he gives Malcolm a warning not to deliver the drugs to the car parked outside his high school. But that warning leaves Malcolm to an intense couple of weeks of being a drug dealer.
5. Zoe Kravitz Serves All The Lisa Bonet Realness You Need
Zoe plays Nakia, the object of everyone’s affection–at least Dom and Malcolm’s. She’s adorable in her braids and reminds us of her ageless mother, Lisa Bonet. Nakia has a damsel in distress thing about her. She just wants to get her GED and eventually asks the brilliant Malcolm for help. They don’t fall in love and walk off into the sunset together, but Malcolm does end up going to Six Flags with her. So cute.
Want to see Dope now?