John Boyega stars as Fontaine, a mean citizen of a mean group referred to as The Glen. At first, Fontaine is sort of a cliché of the “gritty Black drama protagonist” along with his distant mom solely heard by means of a door and his useless brother haunting his ethical decisions. He’s a scowling drug supplier who will seemingly study what issues to him whereas dodging bullets from these attempting to take his turf. We’ve seen that film. This isn’t that film.
After a well-crafted prologue of kinds that units the group of The Glen as a personality itself—filmed with gritty magnificence by cinematographer Ken Seng—Fontaine is shot and killed whereas attempting to gather from considered one of his clients, a pimp named Slick Charles (Jamie Foxx). However then he wakes up the following day and continues his routine as if nothing occurred. When he returns to Charles, the previous all-star on the Gamers Ball is greater than a bit shocked to see him, as is considered one of his intercourse staff Yo-Yo (Teyonah Parris), who witnessed the taking pictures the evening earlier than. The fast-witted Yo-Yo senses this might be like a kind of Nancy Drew mysteries she used to like and goes into motion, main the trio to an investigation that uncovers one thing unimaginable and, properly, unattainable. With out spoiling it, “They Cloned Tyrone” is sort of a Blaxploitation variation on “Cabin within the Woods” in the way it suggests a whole operation behind the scenes that’s intent on holding folks of their place. When Fontaine, Charles, and Yo-Yo uncover how a whole group’s strings are pulled, they set about to chop them.
Taylor and co-writer Tony Rettenmaier’s script, as soon as on the well-known Black Listing, is constantly creative and humorous. Nevertheless it wouldn’t work with no trio as proficient as Boyega, Parris, and Foxx to ship it. Every performer brings a unique vital rhythm to the movie: Boyega is the stoic, grief-ridden hero; Parris balances his low vitality along with her high-octane fearlessness; Foxx is usually comedian aid, however by no means steals focus. And their very totally different registers mix with glorious comedian chemistry as these three unlikely heroes uncover that each one the conspiracy theories you’ve ever heard have been simply the tip of the iceberg. A few of the movie’s greatest moments are merely due to how expertly Boyega, Foxx, and Harris work collectively.
By the point “Tyrone” has performed its hand in “what’s occurring” in an exposition dump scene with a baddie performed with acceptable menace by Kiefer Sutherland, it’s acquired too little time left to satisfy its set-up. Whereas the ultimate half-hour isn’t dangerous, it is extra rushed and even conventional than one of the best components of that first hour. There are additionally some concepts right here about group and the predetermined roles that we’re generally compelled to play inside it that would have been fleshed out a bit extra with fewer explanatory monologues.
“They Cloned Tyrone” could bend beneath the load of concepts, nevertheless it by no means breaks, largely due to its nice ensemble but in addition as a result of Juel Taylor clearly has a watch and an ambition that screams promise. He could have made a movie with nods to classics like “A Clockwork Orange” and “Invasion of the Physique Snatchers,” however he makes use of these cultural touchstones in a way that feels contemporary and new. I’ve a sense his profession gained’t be a clone of anybody else’s.
On Netflix now.