'Dope' - Movie Review

"Dope" opens with three definitions:

  1. noun: a drug taken illegally for recreational purposes
  2. noun: a stupid person
  3. slang: excellent. Used as a generalized term of approval

Appropriate to a movie that's so much about words, and a guy who concerns himself with them.

Shameik Moore plays Malcolm Adekanbi, who with his two buddies Diggy (Kiersey Clemons) and Jig (Tony Revolori), bike the streets of Inglewood California as they try to survive their bad neighbourhood, graduate high school, and make it to college. As geeks, it's par for the course for them to get hassled and beat up at school, but the primary plot motivator occurs when they attend a party and a drug dealer puts five bricks of powdered MDMA and a gun into Malcolm's bag (Malcolm didn't know) to smuggle it out when the police arrive. This leads them to a series of absurd and scary adventures.

The writing is quite good, stereotypes are avoided in the best way (the drug dealer Dom who causes them so much trouble matches Malcolm in his geekiness about 90s hip-hop groups), and it's very funny. Unlikely to qualify as a classic, but it's fun and of its time.