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Monday, December 22, 2014

Movie Review - Top Five

I ended up seeing this movie because the moon and stars collided, ie it was the only movie on at the time, of the genre I was interested in, at the only theater I was willing to drive to in the rain. No, this was not on my list of "Holiday Must See Movies". However, I know Chris Rock is a genius so I was game.

The story-line of Top Five  is that of a former very successful comedian, Andre Allen (Chris Rock) who is trying to break into serious on screen acting - which is not going well, to say the least. He has a reality star girl friend Erica (Gabrielle Union) who has convinced him to have their wedding televised as a part of her reality show. His fans want him to return to comedy and he shuns the thought for fear of failure. 

In walks Chelsea Brown (Rosario Dawson) who manages to get him, albeit begrudgingly, to allow her to follow him around for a day, interviewing him all the while. That one day happens to be the opening day of his latest film and the day before his wedding. 

The name "Top Five" refers to the constant theme of asking friends and family their top five list of entertainers. The movie is rated R for good reason (for very strong sexual content, nudity, crude humor, language throughout and some drug use). Those with high morals, modest ears, and prudish ideas save your money - you will not last five minutes. But, for those who understand a black comedy (literally) and Chris Rock, you will find that the sex, profanity, nudity, and crude humor are used in the normal context of the story, not thrown around to rouse the crowd.

So my top five:

  • the film is funny as heck 
  • it is well cast and the acting is very good
  • the story line is not as predictable as it may seem at first, in some instances but with enough twists to keep it interesting
  • the cameos by Whoopi Goldberg and Adam Sandler are weak at best, other cameos (too many to list here) work better into the plot
  • if you like comedy and Chris Rock, I recommend it - keeping the R rating in mind 
And as a postscript, it was written and directed by Chris Rock and two of the co-producers were Kanye West and Jay-Z.

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