The movie is overly ambitious but never dull, and the ensemble cast is fun to watch.
The film's ability to confound expectations while delivering some big laughs may be its most crowd-pleasing characteristic but the anti-stereotype message rings clear as a bell throughout.
Dope's biggest strength lies in its affectionate and honest portrait of a different kind of young urban blackness than we're used to seeing on movie screens.
The film feels off-kilter more often than not, though it isn't without its inspired, successful moments.
Even as Famuyiwa acknowledges the preconceptions that Malcolm's blackness engenders, he invites audiences to identify with the character on the basis of his relatable interests, aspirations and vulnerabilities.
When so many black movie characters are simple stereotypes, it's a pleasure to see a film with real wit about the benefits and pitfalls of playing to and against those expectations.
"Dope" may be the perfect movie for the summer of 2015.
"Dope" is too smart and lively to be dismissed. It's even original in its mixing of ingredients, however unoriginal those ingredients may be. But it's also unfeeling and, beneath its in-the-hood surface, as much a bit of artifice as a Wes Anderson movie.
"Dope" is, in the end, just another unfunny grab bag of stereotypes. Don't believe the hype.