Movie & Television Show Reviews

Low-Quality Fun | “Coffee and Kareem” Netflix Movie Review

Not every film needs to be a 10/10, 5-star quality film for it to be an enjoyable watch. Netflix’s “Coffee and Kareem” is a perfect example of this. 

The film stars Ed Helms as a hapless, bumbling cop named James Coffee who stumbles upon a drug-smuggling scheme organized in part by rapper-turned-criminal Orlando Johnson (RonReaco Lee) when he has to pick up his girlfriend’s son, Kareem (Terrence Little Gardenhigh), a foul-mouthed youngster that would have been right at home in last year’s “Good Boys.” 

Taraji P. Henson is also in this film as Coffee’s girlfriend, and she kills every scene she’s in. Helms and Gardenhigh do fine enough jobs, and thankfully the film provides plenty of comedic scenarios to keep viewers engaged and laughing, but Henson overshadows everyone in the film. In fact, the film probably would have been more funny had it just starred Helms and Henson, not that Gardenhigh does a terrible job, especially considering that he’s a child actor, but his comedic delivery comes nowhere close to Henson’s. 

The film also stars Betty Gilpin as Detective Linda Watts, who serves as a bully to Coffee in his police station, and one of the main antagonists of the film. I get why she’s included, and the film needs a villain, but her character is very one-note and over-the-top. 

The film is shot competently and is funny enough. But it’s an overall disposable and forgettable film. This is a film that has one or two characters and the rest of the cast are caricatures. It doesn’t have anything intelligent to say, and it’s very reliant on forgettable, physical comedy that won’t necessarily hold up upon a second watch.

But sometimes you need a disposable comedy to get your mind off current events, and if you’re looking for that, this’ll do the trick. “Coffee and Kareem” is an enjoyable bad movie. Don’t expect anything of substance, but it might make you laugh. 

“Coffee and Kareem” gets a 5/10

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