Dope review – drug find makes for offbeat comedy-drama

Three friends find themselves in possession of narcotics in a lightly satirical Risky Business-style caper

Credit is due to writer/director Rick Famuyiwa (who shared an NAACP Image award with Michael Genet for their Talk to Me script) for going against the grain with this comedic tale of three friends from a tough LA neighbourhood whose unfashionable interests include filling in college applications, playing in a punky guitar band and listening to shiny 90s beats or, as the film puts it, “shit white people like”.

A contrived quirk of fate involving a shootout and a bag of drugs sets our antiheroes on a Risky Business-lite venture into the underworld, but it’s their doggedly alternative sensibilities that really tickle Famuyiwa’s fancy. Shameik Moore, Kiersey Clemons and Tony Revolori (last seen wearing a bellboy uniform in The Grand Budapest Hotel) make for divertingly offbeat company, while the film’s primary colour palette provides a satirical antidote to cinema’s more familiar gangsta hues.

Watch the official trailer for Dope here.

Contributor

Mark Kermode, Observer film critic

The GuardianTramp

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