Coffee and Kareem, Inept Cop and Terrible Kid

I’d imagine Netflix is experiencing a real boon right now due to movie theaters closing nationwide and to some extent worldwide. How else to explain a movie like Coffee & Kareem topping their top 10 movie chart? I’ll chalk it up to Office fans (such as myself) checking it out for good ol’ Ed Helms AKA Andy Bernard. From Michael Dowse, director of last summer’s surprisingly effective buddy comedy Stuber, comes a slightly different brand of buddy comedy, and this one simply doesn’t work. Ed Helms’ Officer Coffee is far too surly and inept to root for on his quest to bond with and eventually protect the crazy son of his long-time beau (Taraji Henson), and Terrence Little Gardenhigh is far too awful and, frankly, sociopathic to empathize with on his quest to prevent a “white pig” like Coffee from dating his Mom. Neither character is particularly likable, so when the time comes for the two to bond over perfunctory anecdotes and sympathetic life stories, none of it connects. Worst of all, none of it’s funny, ‘cept for maybe Betty Gilpin going over the top as a bully rival of Coffee’s and, in a twist everyone will see coming, a corrupt cop in cahoots with local gangsters. A cocaine-pelted fight scene is briefly amusing before a series of ludicrous twists begin piling on one after another. Ed Helms is a funny guy and underrated actor, so here’s hoping he finds better projects in his future.

Grade: D

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