"Humor and Depravity in the Hood"
What You Need To Know:
DOPE is a quirky, offbeat comedy. It’s well written with witty humor, but it’s a humor only those born in the last 15 years would find funny. Worse, the clever script is diminished by lots of foul language, sex, nudity, crude homosexual references, and substance abuse by teenagers. It also has a Romantic, politically correct worldview with little or no redemptive content. DOPE is an abhorrent movie that media-wise, smart viewers will want to avoid.
(RoRo, B, PCPCPC, HoHoHo, AbAb, LLL, VV, SSS, MM) Strong Romantic worldview with some light moral elements stressing college and trying to avoid crime implies man is good at the core through the kindness and loyalty the teenager protagonist displays towards his loved ones, but the boy acts on his emotions and falls into the wrong crowd and eventually resorts to stealing, selling illegal drugs and lying so he can get out of a tough situation when a drug pusher leaves hides some Ecstasy in his backpack, plus very strong politically correct content includes attacks on alleged “white privilege” in a corrupt society and a very strong homosexual viewpoint with some Anti-Christian elements in a subplot as protagonist’s friend claims to be a lesbian and her mother tries to “pray away the gay” by forcing her to go to church; 100 plus obscenities (numerous “f” and “s” words), 20 GDs, uses of the “n” word, derogatory names such as “lesbo” and “fagit,” images of a girl vomiting on herself and urinating on a street corner; moderate violence, with an emphasis on gang violence, boy shoots another boy and blood spews from his stomach and knee, gang interrupts a party and turns over tables and punches innocent victims, four members of a gang punch and kick a group of nerds to the ground, man shoots a boy in the stomach and blood seeps from his shirt, girl smacks her guy friend, nerd punches a guy in the face, plus people are seen with bleeding cuts, scrapes and bruises; extreme sexual immorality includes implied nudity with a boy abusing himself to women in thongs on his cell phone, kissing between married and non-married people, girls lick their lips seductively and bite boy’s ears, boy abuses himself to a picture of a girl in a bikini, boys openly discuss oral sex and anal sex, homosexual acts, girls dance and grope each other at a party, girls kiss girls at parties; strong explicit nudity includes topless girl swimming in a pool, upper female nudity as half-naked girl in her underwear kisses a guy with his pants down, topless girl drives car and runs down middle of the street, women in thongs dance on each other; extreme use of alcohol, underage youth taking shots and drinking whiskey, underage youth getting drunk, dancing on each other, throwing up at parties and displaying extreme drunkenness; extreme drug use includes teenagers smoking weed in seven scenes, guys inhale Ecstasy, girl passes out after taking Ecstasy, shirtless girl taking ecstasy, getting high, passing out and sweating profusely, gangs sell drugs, gang leader hides drugs in teenager’s backpack, and illegal drugs wrapped in a brown package shown and displayed throughout entire film; and, extreme immorality includes lying, stealing, threats, blackmail, characters mock unqualified teachers and principals in leadership positions, numerous accounts of racism emphasizing the privilege white men have over black men, negative representation of colleges implying boys from the hood only get into college with sob stories not hard work and academics, and dysfunctional families with single mothers and children without parental supervision.
DOPE is a coming of age comedic drama about a high-school senior and his desire to be more then the nerdy youth from his gang-infested neighborhood in Inglewood, California.
Malcolm (Shameik Moore) dreams of rising above poverty and attending Harvard University. He runs around with his two geeky friends Jib, (Tony Revolori) a fiery Hispanic, and Diggy (Kiersey Clemons), a wannabe lesbian, who jam out in their punk band and listen to 90s hip-hop, bringing a fun flair to the movie with throwback songs and funky fashion. Malcolm, Jib and Diggy are far from cool, dreaming of a better life and avoiding the popular youth daily rituals of skipping class and smoking weed.
This all changes when Malcolm is approached by Dom (A$AP Rocky), a suave, drug dealer in the neighborhood, who recruits Malcolm to be his messenger to put in a good word for him with the cute girl down the road. Malcolm follows orders promptly, only to discover he too has fallen for the beautiful Nakia (Zoë Kravitz).
That night, Dom invites Malcolm to a big party. Knowing that Nikia will be there, Malcolm agrees to come. After Dom pulls a few strings, Malcolm, Jib and Diggy get into the party where they experience their first taste of alcohol, half naked girls dancing and being drunk. As their minds explode to this new world of “fun,” a violent gang fight breaks out, shooting bullets at anyone standing in their way.
The police race after Dom. Before they catch him, he hides a stash of Ecstasy in Malcolm’s backpack without his knowledge. Unknowingly, Malcolm grabs his backpack and escapes the party with his friends.
The next day, Malcolm gets an unusual phone call from an authoritative voice demanding his “lunch.” Much to Malcolm’s surprise, this lunch is pounds of Ecstasy inside his backpack. After a warning phone call from Dom, it’s up to Malcolm to get rid of the drugs, or he could be expelled from school for good, damaging his hopes to attend college forever. Caught in a bad mixup, Malcolm and his friends embark on a wild adventure they never imagined.
DOPE taps into the world of illegal activities filled with drugs, gangs and scammers. The movie’s humor lies in the contrast between Malcolm and his nerdy friends versus the dangerous activities they must perform in order to get rid of the drugs in Malcolm’s backpack. Director Rick Famuyiwa makes no attempt to sugarcoat life in “the hood,” but through his use of humor and witty banter among gang members, he lends a lighthearted quality to Inglewood’s corruption, subtly implying that, through every hardship, there’s humor in almost any situation.
DOPE is incredibly witty with a sharp sense of humor. It also has an unpredictable plot that holds the viewer’s attention. DOPE has daring comedy and racial statements supporting African Americans, but it goes about it in all the wrong ways. Although it has a positive message encouraging youths to go to school, it combines this message with gratuitous foul language and sex, politically correct viewpoints, crude homosexual references, explicit nudity, and drug content. Eventually, the protagonist resorts to stealing, selling illegal drugs and lying so he can get out of a tough situation. In addition, by mocking the public school system, Caucasian people in authority and college essay requirements, it contends that America’s political system is corrupt, and Ivy League colleges are biased against people from low-income families. The movie also has a politically correct attitude toward homosexuality. For instance, it depicts girls dancing together and kissing during wild parties. Also, the protagonist’s friend claims to be a lesbian and her mother tries to “pray away the gay” by forcing her to go to church.
All this negative, gratuitous content makes for a despicable combination. DOPE is an abhorrent movie that’s unacceptable for viewing.