MPAA Rating: R
Director: Joseph Kahn
Starring: Calum Worthy, Jackie Long, Rory Uphold
Runtime: 2 hrs
What It Is: Young caucasian boy Adam (Worthy) is studying the underground rap battle scene in the surrounding area of Oakland/San Francisco. When he meets a rapper with the battle name Behn Grymm (Long) he thinks he’s found the true subject of his thesis which is on this very art form. When Adam catches the bug for battle rapping and seems to be good at it. This leads to problems with his leftist, hipster girlfriend Maya (Uphold). Will Adam survive the world of battle rap, will his relationship survive?
What We Think: Kahn’s directing style is just the sort of frantic craziness a story like this needs. Calum Worthy is the illest of the ill here. He makes Adam both the nerdiest of nerds BUT gives him the wordiest of words. The script (also penned by Kahn) is fantastic as well. There’s a flow to everything that comes off quite naturally. Actual rapper Dizaster comes off as the frightening Megaton. As for how the film looks? Not bad. It has a filter of filth to it that kinda works. Rory Uphold is utterly annoying and that works because her character is a send-up of a very specific type of person and she nails it.
Our Grade: B+, There’s some great stuff here. Some of the character decisions are blase. The ending comes off a tad cold and one particular plot string never gets tied off. Do I recommend this? Unequivocally. This is a fantastic film. Even if it’s far from perfect. It’s slated for a November release but this is for sure one to watch! It gave me a new star on the horizon to watch out for. I think you all should too!