Released: 3rd April
Seen: 6th April

Dear Netflix

Look, I get it. You used to be the king of the mountain with all the films anyone could ever want and then the studios got greedy and realised that they could do it without a middle man and you lost a bunch of content so now you’re desperate to fill the empty space up. Sometimes you get desperate and you need to load up with content. I get it, you need content that they can’t take away from you and so you’re just greenlighting everything but may I suggest you try watching it before you upload it because maybe then you won’t unleash painful garbage like Coffee & Kareem onto the world.

Coffee & Kareem utilises that most classic of tropes, “Kids hates his mom’s new boyfriend”. In this case, the kid is Kareem (Terrence Little Gardenhigh), a child who thinks he’s the toughest human on the planet who tells everyone to suck on his dick. He often tells this to the man who is dating his mom, Coffee (Ed Helms) who is only named Coffee because the title requires it for the pun (get it… it’s… it’s Coffee and Cream, this is literally the only reason the character names exist). Coffee and Kareem do not get along well. In fact, they get along so badly that Kareem tries to hire noted drug dealer Orlando Johnson (RonReaco Lee) to kill Coffee. Of course, because this is a bad idea that is so stupid that no sentient human being would actually consider trying it, it ends badly and soon Kareem and Coffee are on the run from a gang who would like to put a large number of bullets in both of them. 

This is probably the most difficult watch I’ve had in a while. This one took 3 tries for me to finish, I had to pause it when the irritation got too much. Almost all of the characters in this movie are the most horrifically irritating characters to be put on the screen. Kareem is a loud screaming irritation who makes Cartman look positively delightful, Coffee is an unfunny piece of crap who makes every minute spent with him feel like an hour and every scene with the two of them (Spoilers, that’s the entire movie) is a desperate slog of posturing that literally had me typing the note “I long for the sweet release of death” by the 7-minute mark. This is an absolutely terrible movie, probably one of the worst written films I’ve seen in ages. It honestly made me feel like I was watching a less interesting version of Stuber… and then I learned that it was directed by the same guy who directed Stuber, and that feeling suddenly made sense.

For a film that lasts an hour and a half, the pace on this one was so slow that it felt like it took twice as long. The alleged jokes are so painful that I actively felt the rage building every time they tried one. There are exactly 3 performances in this film that had any comedic value to them, that being Betty Gilpin, Taraji P. Hensen and David Alan Grier. David Alan Grier only gets about 2 scenes in the film, and really is only funny in one of them but his final scene of the movie was the first time I actually laughed because David Alan Grier is genuinely hilarious when you let him have fun. Taraji just destroys, once they let her. Again for the first half of the film, she’s basically there as background but the second they let her go, she’s kind of incredible and makes any scene she’s in a delight. I genuinely howled when Taraji proved to be the toughest person in the film, she did the exact thing you hire Taraji to do and she did it perfectly. The MVP of this film is Betty Gilpin, though she only earns that title thanks to the final act of the film where she basically develops a hunger for scenery that cannot be abated. She must eat that scenery or she will die and it is glorious. Beyond those three? Yeah, everything else is a flaming dumpster full of other dumpsters that are also on fire.

It took almost an hour for me to even crack a smile, let alone actually laugh, in this alleged comedy and even then it wasn’t because of the writing but because they were lucky as hell to have a trio of incredible performers who took what they had and ran with is, Coffee & Kareem is only worthwhile for the final act of the film and even then I would suggest watching literally anything else before putting up with the hour of irritation in order to get 20 minutes of laughs. 

2 thoughts on “Coffee & Kareem (2020) – I’ll Have Decaf, Thanks

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