Subhash K Jha reviews Coffee and Kareem

Review of Coffee & Kareem:  Netflix's Most Obnoxious Film To Date

Coffee & Kareem (Netflix)

Starring Ed Helms, Terence Little Gardenhigh, Taraji P Henson

Directed by Michael Dowse

Rating: *(1 star)

How starved are you for laughs during these trying times? Coffee & Kareem (yup that’s the title because the film’s two protagonists are named James Coffee and Kareem, geddit?) presumes it is funny for a 12-year old boy to talk like a stinking sewage gutter.

The expletives flow and the film doesn’t let go of any opportunity to let ‘little’ Kareem talk big shit. Kareem, as played by Terence Little Gardenhigh (who is no Shirley Temple) is designed as a pintsized trashcan, spewing elaborate porn-prattle as though to the filth born. Exactly why Kareem’s smutty mouth is supposed to be funny is a mystery to me. I found the boy obnoxious on every level. I wouldn’t suggest the rod for him because he will make a child-abuse joke out of it.

Maybe anything that signifies contempt for social norms is supposed to turn us on. Kareem is that embarrassing neighbour’s son peeing on your green lawn for the heck of it. If I was his parent I’d slap Kareem and put him in enforced lock-in , Coronova or no. Kareem’s mother (the talented Taraji P Henson, in a thankless role) is too busy making out with a middle-aged slightly daft but well-meaning cop named Coffee.

This is as good a time as any to tell you that the cop, played with unreasonable enthusiasm by Ed Helms, is named Coffee only because he will partner with 12-year old Kareem. The title I am afraid seems to have been decided first. The never-ending gags followed.

In one of the opening gags, Kareem tells his best friend, “If he (the cop Coffee) f..ks my mom I f…k him back.” Ok then.

This is the best moment for viewers to flee before it’s too late. But no, we stick on watching goofy Coffee and filthy Kareem take on sundry drug dealers and corrupt cops through a series of car chases and other time-passing plot devices that made me wonder if the brief for this orgy of asininity was this: be as politically incorrect as possible, make the 12-year old boy crack racist, sexist, gay and child-abuse jokes.

Viewers love such torrents of trash especially when they have nowhere to hide.

But the best way to avoid getting depressed at home is to shun this piece of incredible crassness, meant strictly for those who equate penis jokes with a good time. And a 12-year child joking about getting raped as the height humour. Me, I am out.

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