BY TALIA ZITNER AND ELLIKA EDELMAN, CONTRIBUTORS
“I’m from a poor, crime-filled neighborhood, raised by a single mother, don’t know my dad, blah, blah. It’s cliche,” says Malcolm, the unlikely hero of the summer blockbuster, Dope. However, the movie is anything but cliche. The storyline follows a straight A high school senior who is obsessed with everything 90’s, Malcolm Adekanbi (Shameik Moore) and his two sidekicks Jib (Tony Revolori) and Diggy (Kiersey Clemons), as they somehow become involved in a large scale drug exchange. Malcolm and his friends must move about 100,000 dollars in “dope,” or ecstasy, before their time runs out. Dope mainly focuses on the reality of poverty and gang-infested neighborhoods, as well as sexuality and dreams of getting out of the hood.
When we went to see Dope, the two of us didn’t have very high expectations. We believed it would just be another surface-level “teen movie” focusing on drugs. But we were pleasantly surprised to find that Dope was sophisticated while remaining entertaining and enjoyable to watch. The movie was also very layered and meaningful, which left us with a much deeper impression of the film than what we went in with.
The movie was inspiring because it showed us that really, anything is possible if one works hard enough. It also made us realize how privileged we are to live in a place where we are supported and protected. Wilson kids could relate to this because there is often peer pressure at Wilson causing kids to get into less than ideal situations, just like Malcolm, Jib and Diggy. Overall, we would give Dope 4 out of 5 stars since it was a very powerful movie, and also interesting to watch.
Some other highlights of the film, besides the star studded cast, (Zoë Kravitz, A$AP Rocky, Tyga, Chanel Iman, Forest Whitaker) included the 90’s themed fashion and music. The clothes were straight out of an MTV music video. The music was probably one of the best attributes of the movie. It gave Dope a more approachable touch, allowing even the most uncomfortable parts of the movie to be watched without shifting in your seat. The soundtrack to Dope also made the heaviness of the film feel a bit more palatable, making sure the darker themes weren’t passed by, but also not too depressive.
Overall, Dope did live up to its name. It was a very well-done movie: the actors were believable, the plotline was engaging, and in the end, the story was uplifting. Some of the film was very sad, a reality check to the fact that this is the life of many people in America.
The movie was rated R, for good reason, so if you’re under 17 be sure to bring a parent or someone that’s over 21. It’s definitely worth it.