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They Cloned Tyrone review – powerhouse Jamie Foxx in satire turned goofy caper

Starting out gritty, this likable film turns into a mystery-comedy thriller and boasts excellent performances from Foxx, John Boyega and Teyonah Parris Screenwriter Juel Taylor makes his feature directing debut with his own co-written script; it’s an odd, slightly baffling but likable piece of work. It’s a conspiracy mystery-comedy that starts out as a neo-blaxploitation romp or supersmart satire on race and white privilege that you might compare with Get Out or Sorry to Bother You. But then it broadens into something sillier and goofier, almost a kids’ movie. I can imagine it building a cult fanbase by being shown every Christmas Eve on TV, and it’s certainly got three powerhouse performances from Teyonah Parris, Jamie Foxx and John Boyega. The scene is a deprived African American neighbourhood where people listlessly drink certain branded types of what appears to be alcoholic soda, munch down fried chicken and use chemicals on their hair. Tyrone (Boyega) is a drug dealer who is discontented at a rival player moving in on his turf, and also annoyed at money owed to him by notorious pompadoured pimp Slick Charles. Slick is played by Foxx, and is always complaining about the ungrateful, unreliable women he’s exploiting and indignantly announcing things like: “At the 1995 Players’ Ball I was Pimp of the Year!” His main earner is the wisecracking Yo-Yo, played with whipsmart presence by Parris. Continue reading...

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