September 01, 2017

R: August 18th, 2017 | R: 109 minutes | R: R

Patricia Dombrowski (played by Danielle Macdonald) a.k.a. Killa P, a.k.a. Patti Cake$ is the underground rapper, from a desolate hometown in New Jersey. With a mother (played by Bridget Everett), trying to stop her from pursuing her hip-hop carrier, and all other odds against her, Patti Cake$ must risk it all. Thriving to be just like her hero O-Z (played by Sahr Ngaujah), Killa P and her crew “PB&J” give all they have to get out of their suburban nightmare, and be the best rappers in the industry.

Patti Cake$ is the directorial debut of Geremy Jasper, who previously worked on numerous commercials and music videos. While he did create a very unique film, this Fox Searchlight Picture did not live up to all the hype. It stars Danielle Macdonald as Patti Cake$ (with previous credits in “American Horror Story”, “Pretty Little Liars” and “Trust Me”), and while I can see passion in her portrayal of her character, I found the character herself to be very unlikable. I was also not too impressed with Siddharth Dhananjay’s first acting role as Killa P’s best friend. He was very annoying and childish throughout the film, and I did not think his humor worked. I also found Cathy Moriarty’s (also seen in “Raging Bull”, “Casper” and “Kindergarten Cop”) performance as Patti’s mom to be exasperating and obnoxious.

Now on the other side of the table I did enjoy Bridget Everett (as seen in “Sex And The City” and “Trainwreak”) as Barb, Patti’s mom. She was incredibly worn out and done with the world. The character was very interesting. But by far the stand out of the film was Mamoudou Athie, playing the satanic goth musician and final member of PB&J. Towards the end of the film his character did fall apart, but I besides that, I found him to be the most interesting part of the film. He offered the most humor and depth in his character.

The script for this film seemed very sloppy, and the humor was very dry. The theater was not bursting out in laughter, like the film was going for. The story also got very cheesy at points, but another major flaw of the film is it took till the third act for me to finally get into it. And do not get me wrong. I was very excited for this coming of age story, but I just could not connect with the characters and did not get very locked in. The end of the film was good, but it took too long to get to that point. This film could have trimmed about twenty minutes off of it, and it would have flowed much better. Some of the relationships seemed very forced too, and the cinematography was very bland, not conveying anything to the audience.

For a film about the music industry I did not like the sound track that much. I found most of the songs to be annoying, and the verses really were not that good. This also did not help the character of Killa P, because it did not seem like she had much talent. Now I did like aspects of this film. But overall It really was not that great.

To wrap this review up, I had fun with some aspects of this movie. Overall, there were problems with this coming of age, hip-hop flick such as unlikable characters and not the best storytelling by the director, and these aspects really hurt the films rating for me. I definitely did not hate this movie...but I will not be recommending it to many moviegoers. It took far too long to enjoy, and the soundtrack was not even good.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Cabell Cabell (Contributor) is a filmmaker from Tampa, Florida. He will watch just about any film but when he's not reviewing the latest hits he spends time directing films of his own.
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