Malcolm (Shameik Moore) is just your average geek trying to survive high school and a tough neighbourhood but everything changes after an underground party. Drugs and a gun are hidden in his bag and as he and his best friends Jib (Tony Revolori) and Diggy (Kiersey Clemons) try to figure out what to do, they have the biggest adventure of their lives.
There’s a lot going on in Dope. There’s so many pop culture references including 90’s rap, bitcoin and how you’re supposed to write a college application letter. The way it references all these things can be a bit overwhelming at times and sometimes it loses its way slightly but it’s still a lot of fun seeing these teenagers being awkward yet smart. Along with a mishmash of references, Dope is also a mix of genres, it’s no doubt a comedy but it’s also a drama and it’s a bit like a crime-caper in the end – it’s sometimes a bit strange but it’s always a lot of fun.
The friendship between Malcolm, Jib and Diggy is truly a highlight of the film. The chemistry between the three is on point, whether the three of them are talking about girls, music or what to do with the drugs they’ve just been landed with, their camaraderie and jokes are a lot of fun.
Moore makes a great leading man as he is both funny, awkward and sincere and he really holds the film together – even in the crazier moments like when he’s being driven by a high Lily (Chanel Iman) he manages to pull you in and you live through him in these moments.
Dope is smart, funny and you never quite know where it’s going to go next. 4/5.