Film Review: Dope (2015)

on Thursday, September 03, 2015
'Dope' (UK cinema release: 4 Sep '15) // Words: Jordan Andrew

The well-deserved buzz around 'Straight Outta Compton' might make you think that there isn’t much room around for another Hip Hop style movie. Well, start making some room as 'Dope' is hitting our cinemas. Starring up and coming actor Shameik Moore as Malcolm, a guy who loves the 90s from the fashion to the music, which makes him the outcast in a Hip Hop world run by Kanye West, Kenderick Lamar and Drake.

Malcolm is a straight A student who dreams of studying in Harvard and making a name for himself. The problem is it that he is young, black and lives in a rough neighbourhood in Los Angeles that is full gangs, drugs and violence. Malcolm has always avoided that type of life until one day he bumps into Dom (A$AP Rocky) and lands himself into a whirlwind of events that are due to change the course of his life.

Luckily, Malcolm has friends Diggy (Kiersey Clemons) and Jib (Tony Revolori) that have his back during the highs and lows of 'Dope'. Despite all the madness Malcolm falls for Nakia (Zoe Kravitz) a girl trying to get her life in check after making mistakes in her past. Malcolm also meets Lily (Chanel Iman) - particular credit to Iman for playing the role to perfection.

'Dope' challenges culture and stereotypes in a positive way, asking questions like why should a straight A student have to settle for an average life? Race, class or living situation shouldn’t matter, however this is the reality we live in, which hits home hard with 'Dope'.

'Dope' is poetry in a film version, and with the help of Forest Whitaker as narrator, it allows you to be transported into another world. A world that can be unfair and cruel but sadly, reality. 'Straight Outta Compton' may have an amazing soundtrack and a harder hitting story but 'Dope' is an inspiring Hip Hop-inspired film.

'Dope' is out in UK cinemas tomorrow, through Sony Pictures Releasing.

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