For Reel

Top Five (2014)
February 28, 2015, 2:17 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Chris Rock
4 Stars
Top FiveChris Rock plays a comedian facing a life crisis in Top Five, arguably the first wholly successful adaptation of the comic’s voice into a feature film. Although he has his dalliances with the crass (a subplot involving a gay ex-boyfriend is Rock at his worst), Rock’s discourse about the nature of constructed identities and the entertainment industry shows a satisfying assurance. The idea of the titular “top five” is central to his agenda. Rock seems to be suggesting that even banal “favorite” lists can reveal a lot about a person–that part of the means of human connection is simply sharing our passion about various interests. In a film that is largely about Rock’s character grappling with what reality is (Rock interacts with prostitutes who are paid to show interest in him, a reporter who may have a hidden agenda, and a career that he feels philosophically disconnected from), there is a refreshing honesty in a character simply sharing a list of their five favorite rap artists.

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