Dope: Review / by Kenneth Buff

Genre mashup movies don't always work, but when they do, they're pretty great. Films like Ghost Busters, Back to the Future, and Blade Runner, are considered American classics. They take multiple genres and blend them into one seamless film. That's what Dope almost does. It combines comedy, drama, and political awareness into a movie that's both funny and moving.

Now, I say Dope almost blends the genre's (comedy and political awareness drama) into one, but it doesn't quite get there. While all of the movie is done very well—the comedy, the violence, the social commentary—the more serious scenes, especially the violent ones, feel as though they belong in a different movie than the comedic teen movie scenes. That being said, the film definitely flows and doesn't feel disjointed, it's just combing genres that have a lot less in common than say the usual mashups of "sci-fi and horror" or "comedy and adventure." Dope combines comedy and drama (specifically the sub genre of political awareness. Think films like Philadelphia or American History X) but it isn't simply a "dramady." This isn't The Family Man or Dan In Real Life, nor is it simply Do The Right Thing for the year 2015, it's a legitimate comedy that segues into drama. 

I do think that the comedy undercuts the dramatic punch the movie could have had, and the drama of course cuts the laughs off, as is the nature of drama, but the film is still a fun ride, and is applaudable for having the guts to try something new.