Directed by Michael Dowse, ‘Coffee And Kareem’ is an alleged action-comedy that takes the buddy cop genre and tries to put a new spin on it.
James Coffee (Ed Helms) is a bumbling Detroit cop who is dating a single-mother nurse named Vanessa Manning (Taraji P. Henson). When her son Kareem (Terrence Little Gardenhigh) spots them together, he plans to hire gangster rapper Orlando Johnson (RonReaco Lee) to rough him up, but accidentally witnesses a murder. Coffee takes the kid on the run and soon discovers that dirty cops lead by bully detective Linda Watts (Betty Gilpin) is trying to make a drug deal with Canadians from Ontario.
Comedies are supposed to generate lots of laughs, but this one is not. It is has a few lines that make you giggle, but there is nothing remotely funny, charming, humorous, or even worth mentioning about this film. I had to scan my brain for any memorable line for my ‘favorite quote’ section of my review. Normally, I can find something to quote, but I could not think of a single one, so I feel back on a police line that is heard in virtually every movie surrounding law enforcement.
The trouble is with the characters. Oh, Helms and Henson are incredibly talented, but their acting chops, especially their comedic talent, were completely wasted in this alleged comedy.
As I said, there is not a single likable character. Even comedies about terrible people doing terrible things have a charm about them, but not this one. Every character is a human eye-roll or human yawn. Vanessa lets her son get away with so much, truly terrible things, but when she somehow manages to disarm and beat two thugs with guns, she makes a comment about how their mother should have raised them. Seriously? Your kid has been verbally assaulting your boyfriend the whole running time and you have done nothing to stop him.
Finally, Kareem is an awful character. While he is angry at Coffee for dating his mother, as often happens in films about possible step-parents, there is no reason to like him. He is a vulgar kid who lacks any sense of decency and even harasses his school teacher in front of his class. He sucks all of the comedy out of the movie every time he opens his mouth. He refuses to accept Coffee in his life, but has no problem manipulating him into taking him to a strip club. This kid is barely a teen and the way he talks to everyone, including his own mother, is not comical. It is unpleasant.
Bottom line, Coffee And Kareem is a boring, vulgar comedy with awful characters and lacking anything hilarious, remotely comedic, or even charming.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Foul language, Explicit lyrics, Violence, Sexual content
FAVORITE QUOTE: You have the right to remain silent.
Check out the trailer below:
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