Thanks To Paramount Pictures we had the chance to see Chris Rock’s ‘Top Five’ before its national release. Make sure to go see it at your local cinema, if you’re someone who loves a good comedy and who is not easily offended.
Chris Rock plays Andre Allen, a comedian whose career is in a slump. After three wildly successful Hammy the Bear-movies he wants to show a more serious side of himself, but critics hate his new biopic of a Haitian revolutionary and audiences don’t want to see it. In his personal life Andre isn’t doing great either, as he is about to get married to an egotistical reality-TV princess who couldn’t care less about him as a person, as ratings & product deals are all she’s worried about.
When Andre is asked to do an interview with the New York Times he initially declines, as one critic for this paper is responsible for the worst review ever written about him. Allen’s agent (Kevin Hart) insists, so the comedian meets up with reporter Chelsea Brown (Rosario Dawson), who turns out to be a young woman who is quite down on her luck herself. While they stroll through New York Andre starts finding himself as Chelsea confronts him with missteps he’s made.
Chris Rock is mainly known for his wildly outrageous stand-up comedy, and fans can be assured that Top Five delivers plenty of hysterical crude jokes. An early highlight comes when Andre confesses to Chelsea about the moment when his career hit rock bottom. The story that follows ends up in a debacle involving a dodgy promoter (Cedric The Entertainer), lots of drugs and multiple prostitutes, and it inevitably ends up with Allen in jail.
Aside from the plenty hilarious scenes, Top Five also shows a surprisingly thoughtful and serious side of the popular comedian. This is a movie about discovering or better yet rediscovering what your values are, a theme that is addressed throughout the film in scenes where characters are asked for their Top Five favourite rap artists. It seems a small detail but it is a big thing: by simply naming five artists people can express what they stand for.