Shameik Moore delivers a breakthrough performance in the indie coming of age film Dope available on Blu-ray and DVD on October 13, 2015. Writer/director Rick Famuyiwa created a dramedy that’s entertaining, original, and full of terrific performances by the young ensemble cast. The film earned the Grand Jury Prize at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and should earn Shameik Moore awards recognition for his performance as geeky high schooler Malcolm who’s into old-school hip hop and preparing for college when his ordinary life gets twisted on its head after he’s invited to an underground party.
Malcolm and his closest friends Jib (Tony Revolori) and Diggy (Kiersey Clemons) take off on a wild and crazy thrill ride of an adventure as they attempt to deliver a package they never should have had in their possession to the person it was intended for.
There’s violence and drug use, but Dope is so much more than just a raunchy high school movie. Famuyiwa’s R-rated film has a lot of heart and energy, but it does hit a slow point about two-thirds of the way. That’s because there are a lot of plotlines to juggle at that point, and Famuyiwa does his best not to shortchange any of them to the detriment of the film’s pacing. However, Dope has a lot of heart, a killer soundtrack, and best of all it’s a fresh take on the standard coming of age fare that doesn’t succumb to teen film cliches which makes it one of the better films of its ilk to be released in years.
The Bonus Material:
If you’re planning on picking up Dope on video, it won’t be to check out the bonus material which is very limited. Dope’s Blu-ray comes with only two featurettes, both offering a look behind the scenes at the making of the film, complete with cast and filmmaker interviews. It’s unfortunate there’s not a commentary track on disc as it would have been interesting to learn more about specific scene choices.