Just be glad this ugly cop comedy doesn’t last for “48 Hours.”
I remember saying in my review of “Like a Boss:” “Something tells me I might see something worse this later year, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.” That time is now, because just as we’re enjoying watching movies at home to hold us at bay during the Corona outbreak, here is a made-for-Netflix movie you should avoid at all costs.
“Coffee & Kareem” is an R-rated “Cop & a Half” comedy so mean-spirited, maniacal, and racist, that I have no idea how it even saw the light of day. Oh, wait, that’s right. Because Netflix will take any beggar off the streets. After all, it endorsed “The Ridiculous Six” and “Bright.”
For example, the kid in the movie, named Kareem (newcomer Terrence Little Gardenhigh), is such a foul-mouthed little brat, that I’m not sorry for what I’m going to say about him. He’s an African-American fattie with long hair, so I can barely tell if he’s a girl or not. So, ha!
He uses his words through cursing, making him his teacher’s least favorite person, and I don’t blame her. He makes Eric Cartman look like a sweet-heart, and believe you me, I obviously prefer him over Kareem.
When he finds out single mother (Taraji P. Henson) is dating a white cop named James Coffee (Ed Helms), Kareem decides to get him in trouble with a rapper-turned-drug criminal named Orlando Johnson (RonReaco Lee). And that same brat witnesses his associates murder a dirty cop, and inadvertently, makes Coffee accused of murdering the dirty cop and kidnapping the child.
They have to go on the run with Kareem making a deal with Coffee about never seeing his mother again if they get out of this. In fact: when the kid writes a letter to his mom about their mission and apologizes for cursing, I scoffed.
Besides the fat kid stereotype, “Coffee & Kareem” is also racist when it jokes about mixed relationships, which in this case involves Helms and Henson. He has to defend himself against the racist accusations at work with Betty Gilpin as the precinct’s best officer and David Alan Grier as the police chief Walter Hill (yeah, yeah, I get the reference, being this is an action comedy). And spoiler alert, those two cops are dirty. I could tell because their rivalry with Coffee at work.
This nightmare was directed by Michael Dowse, who also made another cop comedy from last year called “Stuber.” I didn’t care for that movie, but I now have to give it credit for one thing: at least it was as grotesquely ugly as “Coffee & Kareem.” I hated it so much, that I never want to see its face again.
Helms can play other characters outside “The Hangover” universe, like Andy Bernard on “The Office,” which is celebrating its 15th anniversary. I suggest you see him in that instead of this. Coming on the heels of “Vacation,” “Love the Coopers,” and “Tag,” I don’t know where this comedy star is heading right now.
And Henson, as talented as she is, is so loud and obnoxious as Kareem’s mother that you’re thankful her role is small. Matter of fact, you’re thankful this movie is short. I don’t know how long it’s going to take to erase this movie from my memory, but it’s going to be for a long while.
This is, hands down, the worst cop comedy I’ve seen since “The Happytime Murders.”
☠️ Poison for the Mind (0/4)
Now Available for Streaming on Netflix (but forget it)