RATED: Not Rated
RUNNING TIME: 93 minutes
Tyler Ivory R. Perry’s Urban Movie
Starring! Wood Harris, Cory Hardrict, Mo, Lorenzo Eduardo, Sticky Fingaz, Ricky Harris
Written by Preston Whitmore II
Directed by Nicholas Harvell
Corey and his boyz are small-time clockers who get caught up trying to sell stolen new jack casino chips back to the crime boss they stole them from. Naturally, he doesn’t like this so he juices one of them when he gets fresh and makes Corey and the other II pay him ten grand by the following morning, or he kills the rest of them. Belly.
Seriously? Did you guys make this using MS Paint? And who writes an email to say that? Ever heard of a text message? You’re not even trying, are you?
Dough Boys lazily wants to be one of those gritty, urban dramas about that one, good soul living in the ‘hood who is desperate to get out but just keeps getting sucked back in against his will. Unfortunately, this completely unnecessary entry to the genre feels like some rich, white kid who claimed to be from Detroit but lived in Bloomfield Hills, walked around with baggy pants hanging off his ass trying to look all street, and idolized Chris Tucker in Friday sat down one day and said to himself, “Dogg, I could totally write one of them black movies. For realz.” Hence, absolutely nothing feels authentic or believable on any level whatsoever.
Corey and his buddies are hustlers. Here’s how we know this: because Corey’s narration tells us this. And because Corey tells his rich girlfriend this. Because Corey tells us that Long Cuz calls them all “dough boys.” (Yes, despite the fact that they’re in the same car together, Corey has to tell us this via voiceover narration.) And because they have names like Long Cuz, Black, and Smooth. (Corey has dreams of being a graphic designer — we know this because the street moniker D-Sign doesn’t pack much heat and because his prized possession is a 1996 IBM-Compatible PC. Oh, and because he tells us.) Supposedly, they were all raised on the streets and hustling is how they’ve always gotten by. Well, if that’s the case, I have no idea how they’ve made it this far because they are the worst hustlers in the history of hustling. No joke, Corey runs into the bathroom to puke because he’s so shaken up by the weakest fight (that they won!) in celluloid history.
New York-style pizza just ain’t the same out in L.A.
You’ve already seen the same story beats in every other crime/urban/one-last-job-and-then-I’m-out movie, only done much, much better than this. Corey’s plight is hilariously self-inflicted. Here’s a guy who doesn’t do drugs, doesn’t cheat on his girlfriend, and wants to go to college, yet feels compelled to stay in the hood as a hustler with his loser buddies because he’s, and I quote, “afraid I’m not good enough.” That’s it. He has no ailing parent or sibling he must stay to look after. He doesn’t owe anyone money (yet). But he does have a girlfriend who is rich and smart (and, like the other women in the movie, inexplicably always walks around in just her lingerie) who wants him to move up to San Francisco to live with her while she goes to medical school — all at no cost to him. Naturally, before taking her up on her offer, he makes the boneheaded move of doing one last score with his fellow dough boys, which goes bad (shocking!) and ends up owing ten grand to some crime lord named Julian France, who makes Babyface look thuggish. Imagine R. Kelly from Trapped in the Closet as a terrifying gangsta and that’s what we’re dealing with here. It’s like they got some guy from the Terre Houte Shakespearean theatre troupe and told him to act “urban.” Boring predictability ensues.
Only near the end do things get somewhat entertaining, if only because it’s finally become so unintentionally funny that it it feels like maybe, just maybe it’s intentionally funny. I wouldn’t even be surprised if I found out that director Nicholas Harvel lifted the script for the Wayans’ eventual Urban Movie but instructed the actors to play it straight. Imagine that, if you can. (Actually, don’t.) The build up (I use that term in name only) to the “climax” suggests a True Romance-style face-off between Corey and Co., Julian France, and some inept cops, but fails to deliver on all levels. Zero tension. Laughable gunplay. (Seriously, I can’t even convey how hilarious it is to watch Julian France wield a firearm — it’s like he took Will Ferrell’s arm motion as Frank the Tank from Old School and then added 9-millimeters.)
This is one of those rare movies that, an hour in, goes from being just a so-bad-it’s-terrible movie to a so-bad-it’s-almost-good movie. I say “rare” because no one in the right mind would ever put themselves through this crap long enough to get to that point. If only the filmmakers had gotten to that stuff way earlier. But, that would’ve meant that they were actually aware of what total garbage they were making. And I have a feeling that they had no idea whatsoever.
“C’mon man, please don’t make me watch Dough Boys! You know I can’t stand to see myself in my own movies.”
The film quality is on par with a film student crew using a three-chip miniDV camera and one Arri light kit. The special features are what you’d expect: movie trailers.
(0.2 for the movie, 0.5 for being hilarious at the end)
My thoughts exactly.