The critically acclaimed but underrated audience film Top Five is genius. Not only is it a return to glory for Chris Rock, it's a really great dramatic film. IMDb doesn't list it as drama, but I think the dramatic moments of Top Five were even better than the inevitably hysterical moments. It tells the story of Andre Allen, a comedian and movie star who is struggling to reach the heights of his early career while simultaneously being interviewed by a journalist and preparing for his wedding.
Top Five caught me off guard. I figured with the cast it has and the premise that it presented, the film would be a goof ball comedy and a throwaway film. Instead, it felt like a mixture of a Richard Linklater and Woody Allen script, with tons of great Chris Rock comedy thrown in. It only takes place over the course of a night or two, and the screenplay is absolutely brilliant. Rock and Rosario Dawson share great chemistry together and light up each others lives, which are otherwise pretty depressing. The back and forth with them and the ability they had to change each other's world views, was reminiscent of Celine & Jesse in The Before Trilogy. I also tend to believe this was loosely based on how Chris Rock viewed himself in the industry and quite possibly several other celebrities. It sheds a light on what may be the many struggles celebrities and past-their-prime actors go through when they are trying to change their career.
Now I don't know how explicit the film needed to get. At times some of the goofy comedy and characters took me out of the film. I would have much rather the film stay closer to the contained humor that made the film work so well. Besides that, I was really impressed Top Five. The fact that a film involving Chris Rock walking around New York City for a full 2 hours was that interesting is a testament to the script and Rock's directing.
+Dramatic moments hit even more
+Felt like a Linklater/Woody Allen script
+Potentially Rock's own story?
-Stay away from the silly comedy
15 of 20 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?