Chris Rock has finally found his stride with his latest feature film Top Five, where he serves as writer and director.
Rock’s previous attempts at serving as director/screen writer,(Head of State, Down to Earth) let’s just say those movies came and went. But Rock’s latest film Top Five, may finally have him reaching his inner Woody Allen. Top Five is about Hollywood funny man Andre Allen. A former stand up comic and recovering alcoholic reaching that crossroads every comedian reaches in their career where they want to be taken serious. Attempting to shake his Hammy The Bear persona that has made him a household name, he ventures off and does a movie about the Haitian 1791 revolution called Uprize!
The film follows Andre being interviewed by Chelsea Brown (played by the ravishing Rosario Daweson), a reporter for The New York Times. There introduction starts off a bit rocky but trust me their chemistry through out makes the film. Brown, although a journalist is a disappointed fan of Allen’s as well that wants to know why he stopped being funny. Rock’s character is engaged to Erica (Gabrielle Union), who is playing a Kim Kardashian-like reality star hell bent on tv ratings and having every aspect of her and Andre’s lives on camera. The plot is a bit cliché you could say but the dialogue is so witty and hold your gut funny that it makes you feel like it’s the first time it’s been done. Through out the film Andre is reluctant with Chelsea during her interviewing him, but he finally comes around. Once they discover they are both recovering alcoholic’s they build a sense of trust, that usually film stars and reporters never develop. Through out the movie Andre takes Chelsea to where he grew up so she can see where he came from and the interactions with his family are definitely the highlights of the film. The running theme through out the film is the old barber shop argument you always have with your boys. “Who are your Top Five favorite hip-hop artists?” Rock delivers with his great comedic timing and on point observations on everything from pop culture to racial politics. The movie is jam packed with cameos of the who’s who in Hollywood, but I’m not going to give away that much. In this film everyone will see Rock has found his niche on the big screen and I know that says a lot.
Having been around for 20 plus years now like Woody Allen before him, Rock has found a way to transfer his un matched confidence and wit on the stage as a stand-up comedian to the big screen. In Top Five, Rock allows us to watch the life imitate art. Rock will finally earn his respect as a film maker by critics and his peers now for sure. Top Five is his best work to date, not that that’s saying a lot but I’m really hoping Rock keeps this trend going of making fun non cookie cutter films like this.