If you haven’t caught wind of Chris Rock’s latest film, Top Five, over the last few days you’ve either been living in a mid-sized Latin American country suffering an American trade embargo or haven’t been actively reading Remezcla (or Complex, or The Hollywood Reporter, or anything really). Whatever your reasons, there’s still plenty of time to get in the know and act like you knew all along. In fact, Paramount Pictures has just released an extended red band trailer for film, and it looks glorious.
In addition to a veritable who’s-who of African American comedy — I’m talking Kevin Hart, Tracy Morgan, Cedric the Entertainer, Whoopi Goldberg, Jay Pharaoh (should I go on?) — Latinos are representing hard with none other than Rosario Dawson in a starring role as an entertainment journalist and the foil to Chris Rock’s alter-ego, Andre Allen.
With more than a few touches of self-referential humor, it seems Top Five is being pushed as Chris Rock’s masterpiece — the product of a mature comic mind that’s garnered its fair share of wisdom over decades in the Hollywood trenches. Indeed, the critics seem to agree, and Rock himself has bravely used his requisite PR tour to ruffle feathers and start probing conversations about race relations in the United States. (Read his scathing comments about how Latinos are treated in Hollywood here.)
Earning comparisons to heavyweights of intelligent high-comedy like Woody Allen and Dick Gregory, Top Five may very well be a much needed addition to this country’s great tradition of intellectual humor at a moment when black and brown folks alike are aching for a voice to speak truth to power.
Top Five opens in theaters on December 12, 2014