The rules are simple. The good get spared. The bad get spoiled.
Top Five (Paramount Pictures)
Written & Directed by Chris Rock
Who are your top five rappers all time? It’s okay, I know you might have to pick six. Everybody does. Chris Rock’s Top Five movie is a study in celebrity, addiction, celebrity addiction and the celebrous addiction to celebrity. Chris Rock may know funny but he doesn’t know dialogue. Anything in Top Five that isn’t meant to be funny is a painfully horrible example of bad dialogue. Top Five is very funny at times and the casting is off the chain but where it fails is in the writing and the directing; just the two most important parts of making a movie. However, for a director like Chris Rock the most important part of making this movie was putting all of his friends in it. Have we learned nothing from Ishtar? It’s not about how much fun you have on set. It’s never about that. In fact, the most important thing about a movie is whether I’m going to spoil it or not. Well guess what? Top Five was horrible, casting or no. So lets spoil this motherfuckaaahhhhh!!!
CAUTION: I curse a lot in this review. Also I’ve seen a bunch of bad movies in the last few weeks, so it’s time to vent. You’ve been warned. How’s that for stank?
Top Five is a failed attempt at the quintessentially pedestrian and annoying Hollywood celebrity pseudo-bio-pic. Bad writing. Bad directing. Bad premise. But good casting (I can’t say enough about the casting and the cameos because it almost saves this piece of shit) Because Chris Rock, at this point in his career has a lot of cool and funny friends. And to be perfectly honest, at times Top Five looks like he just threw his friends into a room and rolled the cameras. Which sounds good, but he also wrote them a script. So… the nigga can’t even do that right. He plays a fictionalized version of himself, mixed with Kanye, mixed with Eddie, and he can’t do that right either. Gabrielle Union plays his reality show starring fiancée (the Kim to his Kanye) and Rosario Dawson plays his interviewer and love interest, (who also happens to be his worse critic but he doesn’t know it yet).
Sadly, Chris Rock is only good in Top Five when he steps on to the stand-up stage at the end. You know, the old Rom-Com trope where his love interest gets him to go back to his roots. “You have to get back to your roots, boy.” Rosario Dawson plays this annoyingly cliché and two-dimensional female role to perfection. She has an awful lot of experience with these types of roles. The last time I can remember seeing her in something this bad was that Kevin Smith movie where she spends most of her screen-time talking about doing ass to mouth… or not doing ass to mouth. No really. That was her entire part.
And I loves me some Rosario Dawson. Truly I does. And it’s not just about her genetics (the woman is genetically blessed) but I love her style, her presence, her heart and everything she brings to a role. And she’s from my old neighborhood, so there’s that. And I just plain like her because she’s never been shy about doing indie films from cool people in between blockbusters and action flicks and I love that. But Top Five is really bad (So was that Kevin Smith movie… Clerks II). What I’m trying to say is that I may love me some Rosario Dawson but she can pick some really bad movies sometimes.
So in Top Five, the Rom-Com parts fail because of the dialogue and the boring and obvious premise. The main guy falls in love with the person he hates most in the world but doesn’t know it. (That shit was already old when Shakespeare did it) This is Rock’s third or fourth time directing. And he’s written some seriously funny comedies in the past. But romance is not his thing. And also acting is not his thing. Chris Rock can’t act to save his life. He practically giggles every line. Every fucking line is a giggle take. He’s worse than Jimmy Fallon and Adam Sandler combined. There is very little to like in Top Five and Chris is responsible for most of it.
Top Five is only bearable when the main character walks on to a stage, either at the comedy show at the end, or in the funniest scene from the movie; his ex-girlfriend & friends reunion with Tracy Morgan and Leslie Jones. And other than for those two moments, those throw away the awful script moments, those let’s just roll the camera and have fun moments, other than for those, the movie is incredibly bad. It’s a bad movie. And it’s all because Chris Rock has no fucking idea what a regular person sounds like, talks like, loves likes or acts like. So that what Top Five becomes is a study in crappy movie dialogue and worn-out Rom-Com clichés between shots of Chris giggling his lines. And it looks a lot like Chris Rock just tried to take on too many jobs and did them all poorly. He can’t act. He can’t write. And he can’t direct. But let me state here at the end (for those who got this far) that Chris Rock is still one of the funniest and smartest people on the planet and I love every thing he does… except for this. This is garbage. Top Five is a bad bad movie. (And why are the cast wearing tuxedos in the poster?)
Top Five is awful.
My Top Five are:
1. Jay Z, 2. Chuck D (Public Enemy), 3. Rakim (w/ Eric B), 4. Eminem, and 5. KRS One. and my sixth pick would be… Melle Mel (from The Furious Five)