'Dope' delivers strong story dealing with serious issues

Jesus Figueroa
Written by Jesus Figueroa

Serious issues are addressed in "Dope" while keeping a light-hearted story progressing at a steady pace.

The comedy in the story manages to keep audiences interested and gives an 80s feel to the film, but it takes away from the hard hitting message which ends the film.

Malcolm, played by Shameik Moore, and his friends Diggy, played by Kiersey Clemons, and Jib, played by Tony Revolori, are 90s nerds in a rough neighborhood in Los Angeles, CA.

Moore is a fantastic actor who establishes himself well as his character. His look, his personality and his consistent portrayal captures the audience's attention.

Clemons is fantastic with a funny portrayal of her character. The switch between drama and comedy is great. She keeps her cute qualities while playing a Tomboy character.

Revolori pairs up with the other characters great and makes the group believable. His comedy is great, his character is relatable and he is able to add a great supporting character quality.

Malcolm is an exceptional high school student working on applying to Harvard, working on his personal statement and awaiting his alumni interview.

As Malcolm falls for neighborhood hottie Nakia, played by Zoe Kravitz, he starts to be mentored by drug dealer Dom, played by A$AP Rocky.

Kravitz is stunning and strong. Her character shows more than just being a pretty face. She is able to show a determined attitude and be inspirational in her own way.

A$AP Rocky shows uniqueness in his portrayal. From the moment he comes on screen, his character is seen as a bad guy, but with subtleness A$AP Rocky is able to show intelligence and kindness in his character. He does a great job of being a multi-layered character.

Dom tries to guide Malcolm only to lead Malcolm on a LA adventure.

Through the adventure Malcolm comes across several characters – Will, played by Blake Anderson, Jaleel, played by Quincy Brown, Lily, played by Chanel Iman.

Anderson is hilarious and his character is able to bring up different sensitive issues.

Brown brings forth a good character which contributes some comedy which keep the story interesting.

Iman comes onto the big screen and is able to play an out-of-control character amazingly well. Although the character is chaotic Iman is fantastic in portraying the character.

The ending is the most satisfying part of the film. It is impactful and thought provoking.

I give this film 4 out of 5 Popcorns. The story writer director Rick Famuyiwa brings to the big screen is fantastic and, much like other similar stories, it addresses sensitive issues well. The comedy of the film is goofy at points which takes away from the big impact which the ending brings. Still, the end is powerful and hits the audience hard after the journey the main characters go through.

"Dope" is out in theaters June 19. The film is rated R for language, drug content, sexuality, nudity and some violence involving teens.

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