Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Movie Review: "Friday" (1995)

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Director: F. Gary Gray
Year: 2011
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 31 minutes

When Craig (Ice Cube) loses his job, his friend Smokey (Chris Tucker) decides that they should spend their now free Friday hanging out and smoking weed. They spend their time sitting on Craig's porch watching the goings on of their neighborhood and doing their best to avoid trouble, which seems to always have a way of finding them. 

"Friday" has become a classic stoner comedy. It manages to take a much more lighthearted look at life in the inner city and appeals to people of many backgrounds. Ice Cube plays Craig, who is just your average young man living with his parents in the projects of Los Angeles. He has just lost his job, on his day off no less, for something he didn't actually do. Now, he is home on a Friday with nothing to do, so his friend Smokey, played by Chris Tucker, thinks they should smoke some weed and get high, something Smokey would do regardless of the day or the time or if Craig was with him. Craig and Smokey don't want trouble, but it still has a way of finding them. Throughout the course of their Friday, they have to deal with the local bully named Deebo, played by Tommy 'Tiny' Lister, who steals from everybody and pressures Smokey into breaking into Craig's neighbor's house. Once he does it, Deebo then refuses to cut Smokey in on what they steal. They also run into problems with Smokey's drug supplier Big Worm, played by Faizon Love. Big Worm gave Smokey some weed to sell, but instead of selling it, Smokey, well, lived up to his namesake and smoked it. He also let it slip that he gave some to Craig, so now they owe Worm $200 bucks, and if they don't pay, they could wind up getting shot. Just another day in L.A.

Ice Cube is able to show the range of his talent in "Friday" and even shares a writing credit on the script, something that he is shown doing in the film "Straight Outta Compton," which was also directed by F. Gary Gray in 2015. This movie also served as a launching pad for Chris Tucker, who was a breakout star in the role of Smokey and has many now-iconic lines of dialogue delivered in spectacular goofball Chris Tucker fashion. He then went on to do the very successful "Rush Hour" series and a few other films before people tired of his obnoxiously loud, high-pitched voice and humor and disappeared for a while. Ice Cube and Chris Tucker have wonderful chemistry with one another and make a dynamic, hilarious duo. Many other roles are also played very well, including those by Nia Long, Paula Jai Parker, and the aforementioned Faizon Love.

In many ways, "Friday" deals with similar social issues to what may be seen in other movies like "Boyz n the Hood," but with a more satirical and comedic slant. The movie may have a lot of silly stoner comedy in its short run time, but it still manages to have a poignant message buried somewhere underneath the blunts and break-ins. It also boasts an amazing hip hop soundtrack that became a favorite of many 90s kids, us included. We really enjoy revising this movie from time to time and hope you give it a chance.

My Rating: 8/10
BigJ's Rating: 8/10
IMDB's Rating: 7.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 77%
Do we recommend this movie: Yes!

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