Score = C
TOP FIVE (2014)
Review by: Kisho Wolfe
Logline: Redman, Pharoahe Monch, Busta Rhymes, Royce Da 5’9”, Jay-Z, and Drake for my 6th
That logline has more to do with the movie title than the movie title has to do with the actual movie. Get all of that? Usually a title gives you some sort of insight or has a smidge of relevancy to what you’re about to embark on, but unfortunately the creative minds here thought otherwise. Although I imagine the movie title was probably the brain child of one or two co-producers (Jay-Z, Kanye West) on the movie rather than the lead actor and writer, Chris Rock. Just a guess…
Chris rock is our leading man in this comedy to close out 2014. He plays the part of a stand-up comedian turned highly successful movie star who desires to switch gears from being a funny man to a serious actor. In the midst of releasing his new serious movie with a serious message, he’s also on the cusp of a high profile marriage to be aired on a live television reality show. Our lead actress in Top Five is the beautiful Rosario Dawson, who plays a reporter who is tasked with shadowing our funny… err ex-funny man around for an exclusive interview.
The movie watches like a biography into our protagonist’s past and we are taken on a journey of seemingly random moments in his life which brought him to his current mindset. It also centers on the fact that he used to be an alcoholic and its effect on his decision not to do comedy anymore. He regrets his role in making the uber popular “Hammy the Bear” movies and things come to a boil since all everyone wants to know is when the fourth movie is coming out rather than the new path he’s chosen to move his career into.
There are a number of cameos in the film from previous generation comedians. Cedric the Entertainer, Jerry Seinfeld and even Whoopi Goldberg make an appearance, just to name a few. Most of them were only on screen for a few minutes, but it was definitely enough to warrant nostalgia of a stronger comedic era than the current one.
Top Five is a comedy for those familiar with the 90’s and maybe even the 80’s. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it also doesn’t seem to be a good thing either for this particular film. It has a couple of cringe worthy shocker parts that seem to be obligatory in today’s comedy movies, and of course there are also laugh out loud moments. (After all, Chris Rock is a good comedian in general.) I just can’t say this movie, released at this time, in this day and age was truly an enjoyable experience throughout the majority of the 102 minutes. Maybe if it was released in the early 2000’s?
I give Top Five a grade of C. It was an “OK” movie. Plus, how many movies do you see the legendary Ben Vereen in these days?