Dope Review: Slang: Excellent - generalised term of approval | SWITCH.




By Jess Fenton
16th August 2015

Growing up in an area of Inglewood, California known as The Bottoms, geek Malcolm (Shameik Moore) has to fight not only bullies but perception versus reality every day. Malcolm and his two best friends Diggy (Kiersey Clemons) and Jib (Tony Revolori) worship 90s hip-hop and model their personal style and lingo after the era while dreaming of Harvard and a life outside of The Bottoms.

During a night out at the birthday party of a local dope dealer, the three friends are thrust into a situation completely out of the norm for them. Forced to navigate out of their new predicament using their smarts, the trio surpass everyone's expectations and challenge not only their view of the world but the way the world sees them.


It’s not hard to see why ‘Dope’ became the darling of Sundance with its high energy, sharp wit, innocent characters and 90s flare. This comedy of errors will hook any viewer while surreptitiously and skilfully exposing its audience to on-point messages of racial vilification and perception.

While the story is overly formulaic and loses its footing ever so mildly at the halfway point,‘Dope’s’ energy and all-around good vibes from its authentic and relatively unknown cast keep things moving along beautifully.

With an almost endearingly naïve style to the film for the fourth-time writer/director Rick Famuyiwa, he’s ditched the polished Hollywood look to bring to life this low-budget gem with heart, soul and social messages worth telling, feeding it to his audience with a giant spoonful of sugar.

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