“Dope” is D- uhh… Wonderful

Jun 23, 2015 by Pedro Lopez DeVictoria on The Nickelodeon Blog

If you value movie theatre experiences that instill the same amount of giggles, thrills, and thoughtfulness as a Ghandi-themed rollercoaster, take advantage of a splendid opportunity with the Sundance darling, “Dope”. Not only is it a quick-stepping coming-of-age caper flick with antics high in quirk and beats per minute, it addresses, plays to, and explores stereotypes that have long reigned in culture, on and off the screen.

High-school senior Malcolm, played with capable aplomb by newcomer Shameik Moore, and his friends Jib (Tony Revolori from Grand Budapest Hotel) and Diggy (Kiersey Clemons) bond over ’90s hip-hop culture, their studies and playing music in their own punk band, “Awreeoh” (with music from producer Pharrell Williams). Of course, then come the drugs, shoot-outs, mayhem. And bit-coins.


The central characters of this film establish the basis of their identities upon the negative space surrounding the archetypes intending to define them. Throughout the film, the self-awareness has an unmistakable presence. However, that doesn’t stop them from having an unabashedly fun galavant all around these tropes.

Geeks dodging cops, in over their heads, combined with trepidations about prom and college, somehow never feels over-tired or excessively cliche. The music is a mix of new and old-school hip hop standards, and the stylishness pervades every fiber of each scene. We got laughs, chortles, goofs, and spoofs all along the way, superbly cast and featuring roles by pop-culture princes A$AP Rocky and Workaholic’s Blake Anderson.

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However, if there was one thing I was the most aggressively jazzed by, it was the main character’s relentlessly beautiful shirt selection.

Look at this.

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Come on.

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You kiddin’ me?

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Anyway, this movie is a fast feast for the eyes with a healthy dose of self-awareness and conscious potency. Definitely come see it for yourself, and see if you can sit still through some of the better song hits without a little bit of wiggle.

Dope is fun, beautiful to look at, rad, stylish, and sleek. However, I’m not gonna say this movie is dope because I’m better than that.

-Pedro LopezDeVictoria, Program Coordinator