Review

Chris Rock has a deep filmography which includes some hits, but even more misses.  Rock is an incredible talent both in the world of standup and on screen.  Whether you like him or not, you have to respect what he’s done over the past 20-plus-years.  Unfortunately his talents haven’t always translated to the big-screen, meaning he’s made some terrible movies (but cemented him as a staple, as well as making himself extremely rich).  Rock has directed a few films including Head of State, I Think I Love My Wife, as well as some documentaries over the years.  With his newest effort Top-Five, Chrs Rock has not only made his most personal film, but also his best.

Rock stars as Andre Allen, a heightened version of himself, a former stand-up comedian and star of the hit movie franchise “Hammy the Bear” (Rock seems to have a sense of humor about the films he stared in that made his career).  Allen is a recovering alcoholic who struggles with the level of fame he has built for himself.  Much of the film features Allen and reporter Chelsea Brown (Rosario Dawson), as he recounts previous experiences and shows her around the old neighborhood.  Events unfold and Allen is forced to examine what truly makes him happy.

Keeping the plot description thin will allow viewers to experience the movie as it was intended. It will shock and surprise you with not only the situations that arise, but the amount of comedians that make appearances.  It’s great seeing so many talented people come together in what was obviously a fun film to make.  Certain cameos and actors are worth talking about, but shouldn’t be until the film is seen.  Besides these outrages events, Top Five feels deeply personal and shows SOME of the struggles Rock has faced in his own career.

Potentially taking a page from friend Louis C.K., Chris Rock plays a heightened version of himself, which is what fans have been wanting for years.  Rock doesn’t seem to take himself too seriously, and is willing to poke fun at mistakes he’s made throughout his rise to fame.  The film also feels very natural, as the chemistry between he and Rosario Dawson is undeniable.  Top Five is great, but isn’t without its problems.

At certain points of the movie the story seems to stall a bit.  The pace isn’t terrible, but certainly takes a step or two back at points.  Having said that, I enjoyed the film, and at least to me, felt like a Woody Allen film (one of his “good” efforts), as I’m not always a fan of his movies, but theres around 60 to choose from, nevertheless it’s a compliment.  Like most comedies, Top Five would be best enjoyed with a group of friends, but regardless, you’ll enjoy it.  I hope Chris Rock makes more films in the vein of Top Five, keep it personal, and stick to subjects he clearly knows.

Top Five is written, produced and directed by Chris Rock, who also stars alongside, Rosario Dawson, Gabrielle Union, J.B. Smoove, and a plethora of talented comedians and actors.



About the Author

Peter Towe
Peter Towe
A graduate of UMASS Boston, I have successfully put off getting a "real" job, and continue to watch, produce, review, and obsess over movies. I lived in Boston while I completed my degree, and now live in Chicago trying the improv thing.