“They Cloned Tyrone” is a film that sets itself apart from the many movies already and yet to be released this year with its remarkable originality. In an industry often marked by a lack of fresh concepts, this film dares to challenge conventional thinking, prompting audiences to delve deeper, question their beliefs, and engage in meaningful conversations. The genius of director Juel Taylor lies in his ability to tap into familiar conversations and concepts and turn them into the premise of They Cloned Tyrone. Which made this film relatable right from the first scene, showcasing the outside of a liquor store which aired in familiarity and set the tone for the film.
Taylor’s feature directorial debut is a testament to his ability to breathe life into ideas. With an impressive resume that includes co-penning films such as “Creed II” and “Shooting Stars,” Taylor’s transition to the director’s chair is a manifestation of his continued purpose.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: ‘They Cloned Tyrone’ Director Juel Taylor Talks Inspiration Behind Film [INTERVIEW]
The central question raised by “They Cloned Tyrone” is simple yet profound: Are we responsible for our circumstances, or are they the product of external forces? As the film reaches its conclusion, it purposefully refrains from providing a definitive answer, inviting viewers to interpret and reflect based on their own experiences, beliefs, and personal journeys. I find that open-ended movies like this are the most powerful, as they allow for diverse interpretations and foster discussions about the human condition and our collective understanding of truth.
And while watching “They Cloned Tyrone” one time is all you need to understand its greatness, the film does benefits from repeat viewings. As one becomes more attuned to social and cultural nuances the film reveals deeper layers and intricacies that might have gone unnoticed before. It has the potential to resonate differently with audiences at different stages of their lives, offering fresh insights and new perspectives with each viewing.
The chemistry among the cast of “They Cloned Tyrone” can’t be understated. Each actor’s portrayal is tailor-made for their respective roles, and their performances contribute to the film’s success. Jamie Foxx shines as Slick Charles, showcasing his quick wordplay and seamlessly blending comedy with the more serious elements of the film. His versatility as an actor is on full display, making his portrayal of Slick Charles both believable and authentic within the narrative.
John Boyega delivers a masterful performance as Fontaine, a character caught in the complex web of life. He skillfully showcases his range as an actor, embodying Fontaine’s enigmatic and defeated nature. Fontaine’s story mirrors narratives often witnessed in real life, where individuals who once held power find themselves trapped in a cycle of stagnation.
Teyonah Parris impresses with her portrayal of a character who effortlessly weaves between the two distinct personalities of their hood crime-fighting trio. She skillfully navigates interactions with the two, displaying exceptional chemistry with both Jamie Foxx and John Boyega. Parris’s ability to adapt her personality depending on the person she engages with is commendable.
While casting these three together was not something I’d initially put on my Pinterest board, since seeing the early teasers of the film, I knew they were going to deliver, I just was unaware of how much.
Additionally, it’s worth mentioning J. Alphonse Nicholson’s presence in the film is a testament to his growing talent as an actor. While it seems he’s becoming typecast in these particular type of roles, Nicholson’s performances consistently demonstrate his ability to embody every character he portrays.
And the last casting that must be discussed is Kiefer Sutherland, who portrayed the perfect antagonist. His surprise appearance, yet brief in the film resonated powerfully. When he first appears, in a scene that is both creatively impressive yet subtly triggering as it feels like the scene was plucked from one of your life’s memory banks, the crowd roared in surprise and excitement. Then he delivered a monologue with such wit and stature as he brought to life “the man” character from every government conspiracy film since the dawn of time. His words weren’t complex but the overall message was as it felt like a far-from-fiction observation.
Every scene in “They Cloned Tyrone” feels meticulously crafted, allowing the cast to showcase their talent and ability to go past the words scripted and bring the story of ‘They Cloned Tyrone’ to life. Juel Taylor’s direction, along with his and Tony Rettenmaier’s superb writing, has resulted in a one-of-a-kind cinematic experience that will undoubtedly be remembered for years to come. The film’s undeniable originality solidifies its place as my favorite movie of the year so far.
Feeling seen is an essential aspect of any film’s impact, and “They Cloned Tyrone” achieves that. It authentically and comedically portrays the complexities, challenges, and beauty of life in the hood. It showcases various sides of a community from the unity, to struggles, to resourcefulness within the ceaseless cycle that plagues many.
As someone who straddles two worlds, being both an insider and an outsider, it’s easy to attribute blame solely to those for their own circumstances. Those that circle the same blocks, repeating the same patterns, generationally. Yet, the film also reminds us that it is justifiable to view their circumstances as the results of external forces, given the multifaceted areas of infiltrated spaces used as examples of a world where this narrative could very well exist. Ultimately, the answer to the question posed in the film lies within each viewer, shaped by their own life experiences and personal journeys. This is what makes “They Cloned Tyrone” a universal experience that speaks to everyone, regardless of their background or perspective.
“They Cloned Tyrone” is a film that demands to be discussed. Its themes and messages are perfect ice breakers in spaces that welcome these type of conversations. It reminds us that simple finger-pointing games cannot capture the complex truths that lie beneath the surface.
It also triumphs in its potential to pave the way for more original and daring ideas to receive the attention, nurturing, and screen time they deserve. To truly support the growth of original storytelling, it is crucial to rally behind films like this one, ensuring their success and encouraging the production of more narratives that reflect our diverse experiences.
In conversations with friends, we often likened Jordan Peele’s “Get Out” as one of the best films of its time. I genuinely hope that “They Cloned Tyrone” receives similar recognition in the years to come. Personally, I have been wholeheartedly advocating for the success of this film, not only at the box office (it is in select theaters now) but also in its impact on Netflix, when it hits the streamer July 21st.
“We’re happy to get the kind of money that jingles, but we’d rather get the kind that folds.” – Lisa, Coming to America
Message From the Founder (Me):
First, thank you so much for visiting BLEX. Building this brand is a labor of love and my way of celebrating the beauty and diversity of Black culture in Hollywood. While building this brand is a labor of love, I rely on the support of people like you to keep the site and social platforms running. If you believe in what Blex Media stands for and enjoy the content I produce, please consider donating a cup of coffee. Your contribution helps me keep the site running will enable me to expand my team and improve Blex’s platform. Thank you for being a part of the Blex community!