THEY CLONED TYRONE
Starring: John Boyega, Teyonah Parris, Jamie Foxx, and Kiefer Sutherland
Director: Juel Taylor
If you’re going to use the stereotypical characterizations like those used in They Cloned Tyrone, you better make sure you get John Boyega, Teyonah Parris, and Jamie Foxx to play them with conviction. Their killer performances carry Tyrone’s twist-and-turn mystery, evolving the characters into multi-layered versions of themselves by the film’s end. Their transformations advance the fun, mind-bending narrative into a sincere examination of America’s relationship with blackness, with each scene building off the last and somehow finding natural ways to drastically shift tones, resulting in a sometimes muddled but constantly entertaining piece of art.
If nothing else, They Cloned Tyrone is the return of Jamie Foxx, who, let’s be honest, hasn’t done much of anything to write home about in years. Thankfully, Tyrone also gives us a great performance from Teyonah Parris and a brooding, if maybe too stoic, John Boyega. The satire and genre-mashing all work pretty well too, though director Juel Taylor’s insistence on using hazy filters and dim lighting to play up the horror vibe make it literally too dark to see what is happening at times. It’s part Attack the Block, part Undercover Brother (with a pinch of Black Dynamite), and a solid win for Netflix.
Anchored by a scene-stealing Teyonah Parris, the underrated John Boyega, and a seemingly rejuvenated Jamie Foxx (he's been a shell of himself as of late), They Cloned Tyrone is severely entertaining. The unique premise is another take on some of the themes introduced in Get Out, but with a twisty sci-fi style. The script can get a little muddled, and director Juel Taylor can make things literally hard to watch with his lighting decisions, but the performances and snappy dialogue kept me engaged throughout as I was eagerly awaiting the next twist in the story.