(SPOILER WARNING!!! This article does contain spoilers, if you haven’t seen the movie, just see the first paragraph to be informed without spoilers!!!)
Top Five has to be one of the realist movies I’ve seen in a while, very funny and lively about living a Hollywood star life, even though it had some formulaic flaws. Rating: 4 Stars out of 5.
Chris Rock is one of those comedians that I grew up with, and probably paved the way for me to love watching stand up. I love his telling it like it is approach, his voice and delivery, and all out hilarity he induces. To me, he is up there as one of the all time great stand up comedians. I wish I could say the same thing about his movies he acted in. I don’t know what it is, maybe he tries to force the comedy to much, or maybe it is just bad writing? I don’t know, but it seems like the movie has potential, but it ends up being disappointing. One movie I did like that Rock starred in is Down to Earth. It’s about a comedian who was accidently killed early im his life and went to Heaven, but they realized it wasn’t his time yet, and they try to find a body for him to replace. The reason I liked this movie, cuz you see a character trying passionately pursuing a comedy career. You could tell that Rock’s passion is comedy, and all he wants to do is make us laugh. Now with his directorial debut in the movie Top Five, I was impressed, and maybe Rock has hit his stride. I will start with what I like, to what I didn’t like.
What I like, this movie shows what a real life celebrity goes through in a day. I like how they always have to deal with fans and paparazzi, and how they manage their fame. How their personal lives can get too Hollywood. Dealing with the media and interviews. Also dealing with his normal family. Probably the most real thing in this movie, is seeing Chris Rock’s character as comedian and actor, Andre Allen, deal with personal demons inside of him, while looking like things are normal outside of him. In the movie, he is being interviewed for an article in The New York Times by journalist, Chelsea Brown, played by the beautiful Rosario Dawson. Chelsea really wants to play hardball with Andre, and get to the nitty gritty stuff that is going on in his life, and calling out his typical BS answers. As soon as Andre let’s his guard down, he opens up many things while promoting his first serious movie of a Hatian slave leading a rebellion called Uprize. Some things he opens up about is why he decided to quit drinking, why he doesn’t do stand up or comedy movies anymore, and his relations to his family. He starts to be vulnerable to her, and she recieves a complete understanding of why he chose this way of life and career. Andre also shows his stress about getting married as well to Erica Long, played by the beautiful Gabrielle Union, who is also a reality TV star, and their wedding is being filmed to televise later. I liked the part of seeing Andre hanging with his family. You see him becoming himself with them, and not forget where he came from. I also liked his relationship with his friend and bodyguard, Silk played by J. B. Smooth, cuz he is pretty much his voice of reason in making his decisions. Another powerful dramatic moment is when Andre had a meltdown after realizing they made a beer from on of his movie character names, and got him so upset to a point of starting a tantrum which got him arrested and jailed briefly. I believe that brief time in jail really made him think where he should go now in his career, and do what he does best. I liked that Chelsea took him to a comedy club, and got him to go on stage and kill it again. He made the excuse that alcohol and drugs helped with his comedy, but Chelsea made him realize that he still has it in his heart, and that was cool. The movie had a good balance of drama and comedy. There were some hilarious lines and moments that really made me laugh out loud. What really made it funny were the random cameos the movie offered like Adam Sandler, Whoopie Goldberg, Luis Guzman, Tracy Morgan, DMX (in jail of course), and Sway. However, the most hilarious cameo in this movie had to be Jerry Seinfeld. Now I’m not a fan of him or the show (immediately dodges a shoe), but his role in this movie playing himself made me laugh so hard. I mean where do you see Jerry Seinfeld in a strip club for Andre’s batchelor party, hanging around with half naked strippers, making it rain on them, dancing with them, and even fighting with one. You don’t think of strippers with Jerry Seinfeld, but thanks to this movie, you can. A lot of hilarious moments really makes this movie enjoyable.
What I didn’t like, the movie had its formulaic story telling and cliches. You knew that Andre will be going through a midlife crisis of se sort and have to make a decision. You knew he would have a hiccup with his Hollywood fiancé. You knew that Andre and Chelsea will develop feelings for each other that will throw a curveball in Andre’s life. It makes sense for the movie, but we seen it all before. Also that whole situation of Chelsea finding out her boyfriend Brad, played by Anders Holm is gay, and shows how she kind of knew because he likes getting his anus fingered was just a little too much. Did we really need to see him in the soggy style position for that. Then the whole hot sauce with the tampon thing really made me cringe and grossed out. Too raunchy for my liking, and comedies like to push the envelope in the raunchiness which really can kill a vibe in enjoying a movie.
Overall, I was really impressed with what Chris Rock showed in this movie with his acting, writing, and directing. This movie was real storytelling which us as fans need to know and learn of what celebrities have to go through. Lastly, the part where they were talking about their Top 5 rappers or groups (Jerry Seinfeld has his as well), here is mine: Tupac, Nas, Wu Tang Clan, Jay-Z, and Big Pun, with my sixth man Busta Rhymes!!! Final Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars.
(Sidenote: Planes: Fire and Rescue- I didn’t like the first movie, Planes, because it was a cheap knockoff from the movie Cars and the story was too cliched, but this one has a better story. You get more of the great animation, and seeing the life of forest fighters using cars, planes, and helicopters to stop big Forest fighters. The main character, Dusty voiced by Dane Cook, who had to quit racing, because of a mechanical failure, lead him to become a plane firefighter and went to get certified for it to help his old firefighter friend back home. It was interesting, but in the end it got too formulaic. It is a good watch for the kids, but nothing else. Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars.)