John Boyega stars as Fontaine, a median citizen of a median neighborhood often known 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 vendor who will possible study what issues to him whereas dodging bullets from these making an attempt to take his turf. We’ve seen that film. This isn’t that film.
After a well-crafted prologue of types that units the neighborhood of The Glen as a personality itself—filmed with gritty magnificence by cinematographer Ken Seng—Fontaine is shot and killed whereas making an attempt to gather from one in all his prospects, 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 one in all his intercourse staff Yo-Yo (Teyonah Parris), who witnessed the capturing the evening earlier than. The short-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, effectively, inconceivable. With out spoiling it, “They Cloned Tyrone” is nearly a Blaxploitation variation on “Cabin within the Woods” in the way it suggests a complete operation behind the scenes that’s intent on conserving individuals of their place. When Fontaine, Charles, and Yo-Yo uncover how a complete neighborhood’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 Record, is constantly creative and humorous. But it surely wouldn’t work with out a trio as proficient as Boyega, Parris, and Foxx to ship it. Every performer brings a distinct essential 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 reduction, 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 finest moments are merely because of 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 obtained too little time left to meet its set-up. Whereas the ultimate half-hour isn’t unhealthy, it is extra rushed and even conventional than the most effective components of that first hour. There are additionally some concepts right here about neighborhood and the predetermined roles that we’re typically pressured to play inside it that might have been fleshed out a bit extra with fewer explanatory monologues.
“They Cloned Tyrone” could bend below the burden of concepts, but it surely 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 fashion that feels recent and new. I’ve a sense his profession received’t be a clone of anybody else’s.
On Netflix now.