The underworld of drug trafficking

The battle against the use of narcotics has been ongoing for decades now with law enforcement fighting against this rot that cripples societies all over the world.

Its devastations have culminated in unemployment, poverty and high crime rates.

As this fight reaches new ground drug lords and other questionable culprits have also found ways to re-invent their devious strategies to continue smuggling and unleashing detrimental effects on communities for cash.

After Straight Outta Compton gave a view of a ghetto lifestyle in a city in southern Los Angeles County, California, United States, Dope follows with a take on life at yet another violent poor neighbourhood of the same state, Inglewood.

In this comedy crime drama, Malcolm (Shameik Moore) is carefully surviving life in a tough neighbourhood in Los Angeles while juggling college applications, academic interviews, and the SATs.

A chance invitation to an underground party leads him into an adventure that could allow him to go from being a geek, to being dope and ultimately being himself.

However, this is not smooth sailing for the young adolescent, as after the party, something in Malcolm’s backpack seems to be attracting thugs forcing him to stay on the run.

This film is sabotaged particularly by lack of star power as relatively most cast members including the main character (Moore) are just relatively new faces in the entertainment industry with no concrete background.

The only established cast members are supporting actors Zoe Kravitz who has had small stints in megahit movies as Mad Max: Fury Road and Insurgent (2015).

 She is back playing in a flirting role.

Rapper A$ap Rocky renowned for hit single, Fashion Killa, is in the mix tasked with cracking ribs.  Lastly, the very same director who orchestrated Brown Sugar, one of the best African American romantic films, directed this comedy.

Rick Famuyiwa is the man whose efforts have earned the film a nomination for this year’s Cannes Film Festival awards that took place in France.



Getting into the thick of the action, this crime drama is a carbon copy of the 2008 TV series, Breaking Bad more so that the plot revolves around the irony of the protagonist having to go off the rails doing the dirty work of drug business.

The criminals have upped their game using unsuspicious people for today’s drug smuggling. Three geeks get entangled in the unfortunate claws of the social ills that are tearing the peace in the livelihood of Inglewood. The movie paints Inglewood as an extremely naughty place.    After watching this, I realised that we in Botswana must cherish our priced possessions especially shoes. Why? Because in Inglewood if someone on the street loves your shoes you may go home barefooted like Malcom.

Dope is fun for its hot pursuit action, as according to this film, teenagers ride their bicycles like their lives depend on it.

Also it has some interesting twists.

The plot touches on issues of friendship, peer pressure, bullying, racial perceptions, romance and achievement.

The movie is very long, which is one of its downfalls.  Nonetheless everything was on point. A$ap Rocky did fairly well as one of the star attractions and he was relatively impressive as a gangster.  Even so, the cinematography came out well because it takes us on a crystal clear summertime fun type of atmosphere with no dark moments.

Perhaps it lacked sting because of the brains behind the production as Oscar award-winning Actor Forest Whitaker produced it.  Judging by Dope he should only focus on acting where he is winning awards.

This movie was a let down in comparison to other drug and gang violence driven movies such as Training Day, Straight Outta Compton and Gridiron Gang.

This was another wrong movie selection choice of the night out at the movies, as fellow moviegoers who opted for the Peter Pan adventures seemed more overjoyed than the viewers of Dope.



Dope was released back in June 2015 at the time when competition at the box office was intense.  This was when Jurassic World dominated the charts along with San Andreas. So clearly no one had the time for a drug movie, as the film premiered fifth on the charts pocketing $6 million.  It looked like something, judging by the fact that the movie was produced with a budget of less than a million.Now it has gone on to make $17 million since its release.


New movies leading at the box office.

1.The Martian

2.Hotel Transylvania 2


4.The Intern




For a lacklustre experience a 5/10 is more than enough.


Movie: Dope 
Genre:   Comedy Crime Drama
Duration: 1hour 43 minutes
Age Restriction:  16
Release Date: October 9, 2015
Director:Rick Famuyiwa  
Main Cast: Shameik Moore (Malcolm), Kiersey Clemons (Diggy), Zoë Kravitz (Nakia), A$ap Rocky/Rakim Mayers (Dom)

Movie: Dope 

Genre:   Comedy Crime Drama

Duration: 1hour 43 minutes

Age Restriction:  16

Release Date: October 9, 2015

Director:Rick Famuyiwa  

Main Cast: Shameik Moore (Malcolm), Kiersey Clemons (Diggy), Zoë Kravitz (Nakia), A$ap Rocky/Rakim Mayers (Dom)


Editor's Comment
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