Top Five – Movie Review
Top Five – R
Release Date: Fri 12 Dec 2014
Top Five is an ambitious film from writer/director/star Chris Rock. In it, Rock plays a comedian named Andre who has become afraid that he can no longer be funny after four years of sobriety. He starred in a string of silly comedies covered in a costume as Hammy the Bear, and that seems like all people want him to do. He tries to convince everyone to take him more seriously by making a historical drama about the largest slave revolt in Haiti.
This builds the crux of the movie as it seems to be asking us as an audience not to expect a laugh-a-minute script. There are funny scenes and sequences including some over the top flashbacks that I would probably enjoy better on a second viewing. As it is, I watched the movie with a sense that any moment something terrible would happen or be revealed. In a sense, this does happen as Andre better understands exactly who Chelsea (Rosario Dawson) is and deals with the repercussions of his vapid relationship with his reality star fiance.
Great cameos from Rock’s famous friends add a few additional laughs and feel like a better use than the massive wave of cameos at the end of the similar “what it’s really like to be a comedian” movie, Funny People. While I can’t quite put my finger on why I didn’t enjoy it more than I did, it’s a movie that stays with you after it ends on a hopeful note.
Hannah and I saw it in the theater and had a discussion in the car: