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Movie Breakdown: Top Five

December 10, 2014

Film

People are doing traditional-style reviews all over the web, so we decided to try something different.  In each “breakdown” we’ll take a look at what a film’s marketing led us to believe, how the movie actually played, and then what we learned from it all.  Read on!

The Impression:

Chris Rock stars in Top Five, a film that he wrote and directed.  It looks kind of funny.

The Reality:

I have mixed feelings about Top Five.  The movie, which follows a burned out comedian as he wanders around New York City, is essentially a crafty mixture of Judd Apatow’s Funny People and Richard Linklater’s Before Trilogy, and overall I found it to be charming, refreshing and funny.  However, there are a variety of moments in the film (namely the entire third act) where Chris Rock clearly doesn’t think his audience is with him, so he crams in cliche plot points and bottom of the barrel jokes so that everyone can be certain that they’re watching a CHRIS ROCK MOVIE.  It’s unfortunately jarring, and I can’t help but think about how great Top Five would have been if Rock was a more confident director/writer.  Maybe he’ll get it all figured out someday.

Top Five isn’t amazing, but it’s a solid little film.  Don’t be afraid to check it out.

The Lesson:

Keep at it, Rock.

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