Coffee and Kareem (2020) A Review

A cringeworthy, foul mouthed spoof on a buddy cop movie.  Betty Gilpin was good, that’s about it.

Certificate: 15

Director: Michael Dowse

Screenwriter: Shane Mack

Starring: Ed Helms, Terrence Little Gardenhigh, Betty Gilpin

Genre: Action, Comedy

Runtime: 88 Minutes

Rating: 2 Stars

Reviewed by: Pearl

In a tome where new movie releases are so incredibly sparse, I was so very indebted to Netflix today for helping to feed my movie watching habit.  Sadly, as with trips to the cinema, not every film I see is going to hit that sweet spot, and this one missed by a long, long mile.

Unimpressed that his mother is dating a white cop, Kareem gets it into his head that he is going to pay a gangster to rough up his mums new boyfriend, in the hopes he will back off.  Instead, Kareem and Officer James Coffee find themselves smack bang in the middle of a drug trade that involve dirty cops, and end up having to run for their lives.

This wasn’t a particularly imaginative premise from the very beginning.  Incompetent cop teams up with sassy kid and miraculously solves a dastardly crime, is a movie trope that has been around for a while and really hit it’s stride and it’s hayday in the eighties/early 90s.  And here they try and spice things up a bit by adding a gratuitous amount of foul language and sexual references.  And unless that is the kind of thing that you find funny, there really are very few laughs outside of that.

The novelty of a twelve year old talking like a gangster and throwing an F Bomb every other word gets old really quick, and there isn’t really much to Kareem’s character beyond that.  There is no back story given about him or his family or anything other than a throwaway comment that his dad died of cancer.  The same goes for all the other characters, they are all pretty flat and uninteresting the only character that did make me laugh was Betty Gilpin’s character, who on IMDB, isn’t even named.

Betty Gilpin plays a dirty cop, who is making money selling drugs from drugs busts.  Her character is completely crazy and does get some of the best lines.  And while we get to know next to nothing about her character at all, I don’t even think she is referred to by her first name at any time, she is still one of the most developed characters in the film.  Meaning she has the most personality of anyone.

The rest of the film is throw away humour and a few cop movie tropes thrown in for good measure.  I have watched this film, so you don’t have to.  However if you do want to waste 88 Minutes of your life, ‘Coffee and Kareem’ is available on Netflix now.

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