Thus far, every review I have read about Chris Rock’s Top Five has been positive. After seeing it for myself, I can’t deny that it’s a hit. But if you’re going to see some knee-slapping silly comedy, you’ll want to lose that thought, because Top Five is intelligent, snarky, real-life funny, even in its more predictable moments. That’s not to say you won’t slap a knee or possibly gigglesnort a few times, just know that you can set your expectations high for this film.
Chris Rock has always been grounded in his comedy, tweaking even the most traumatic moments in life for humor, regardless if it’s uncomfortable. But these are uncomfortable times we are living in, and Rock’s character Andre Allen is going through an uncomfortable phase in his life. So in essence, it’s a perfectly timed film. We could all use a laugh right now while we remember that everyone is dealing with their own demons.
That said, the number one thing to love about Top Five is the chemistry between the actors. Rock interacts effortlessly with Rosario Dawson, who plays Chelsea, a diligent reporter looking for her next big story. While they have the most screen time, it doesn’t overshadow bright moments in the film where Andre visits his quirky family (comprised mostly of an impressive array of current and former SNL cast members), or his moments with his reality show bride-to-be Erica, played by Gabrielle Union.
While putting genius talent like Kevin Hart, Tracy Morgan, JB Smoove, Cedric the Entertainer and Whoopi Goldberg in the same film could lead to a lot of scene stealing and one-upping, Top Five‘s cast manages to make every scene pop evenly with a mix of quick-witted one-liners in the breezy “day in the life” storyline. On the flip side, when Rock gets serious, he gets your attention.
And the cameos… ohhhh the cameos… you’re not ready. But no spoilers here.
Chris Rock wrote and directed the film, with Jay-Z and Kanye West co-producing. Swedish producer Ludwig Göransson aka Ludovin and Questlove of The Roots handle the music production, and it all just works.
Do yourself a favor this holiday season and make a date night to go see Top Five. Thank me later.