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THE REEL: Big laughs, bigger stereotypes in 'The Trap'

Thursday June 20 2019

The Trap is a 1h 30 min comedy and it features scenes that are unsuitable for children such as scantily clad women, drugs and some profanity. PHOTO| COURTESY

The Trap is a 1h 30 min comedy and it features scenes that are unsuitable for children such as scantily clad women, drugs and some profanity. PHOTO| COURTESY 

SONIA GAKURU
By SONIA GAKURU
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It’s June, its cold and we all need to laugh for a little bit and chase the cold from our bones and e The Trap will assist with that.

It’s a light-hearted comedy starring Tip T.I. Harris (Sonny), Mike Epps (Dutch), Loretta Devine (Mama Jay) and Queen Latifah (Dr. Obayuwana).

The Trap is a 1h 30 min comedy and it features scenes that are unsuitable for children such as scantily clad women, drugs and some profanity.

Sonny is a well to do chef who is coming up in the cooking world. He has made a name for himself due to the individuality of his dishes and his hard work. The restaurant owner names him as head chef for a new restaurant that is being opened in Los Angeles. He decides to go home to Atlanta and take a few days off and share his good news with his family.

NOT FEELING TOO WELL

Mama Jay isn’t feeling too well and has left the running of their family owned chicken restaurant to her son Dutch who isn’t doing a good job since he doesn’t take the work seriously enough and is too lazy to run the restaurant.

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He hires very bad staff who run it however they please. Sonny is shocked and decides to lend his expertise much to his older brother’s displeasure.

Dutch is a marijuana peddler unbeknownst to the family and he works for the local dealer K.P. (Stephen Bishop) and while doing a drug run for him, he accidentally adds the marijuana to the chicken recipe and it becomes wildly popular with unsuspecting patrons.

The movie is slow in some parts and the jokes can get very predictable and stereotypical.

The storyline emphasis on marijuana consumption, its peddling and fried chicken comes across as a strong stereotype of blacks and their portrayal in movies as heavy partakers of the substance and sellers of the product.

Mike Epps carries the load of providing the comedy aspect of the movie as he is known as a stellar comedian outside of acting.

T.I. could do with a lot more acting roles as he seeks to expand his skills outside of music.

Loretta Devine plays a mother who loves her sons but is unable to influence Dutch to do better and to take care of the family’s legacy. Parents do their best in raising their children but cannot be held responsible for the latter’s choices and their consequences.

STEREOTYPES

Teyana Taylor (Sherri) plays the role of the loud, aggressive girlfriend to Dutch who isn’t afraid to fight at the slightest insult hurled or even implied. Again, we see the stereotypical ‘angry black woman’ role being portrayed on screen.

Smoking of marijuana is something that has gained acceptance in most of the society in the US. However, it is regulated under stringent conditions and can only be sold under certain circumstances. It still remains a frowned upon substance and it carries heavy connotations of idleness for the smokers. Greed propels Dutch to compromise and accept to peddle it putting his family and business in jeopardy.

The rags to riches story is one that many people can identify with and the motivation to leave ones past behind and forge a new life for oneself.

However, in order to craft a successful future, one has to deal with the past and that is what Sonny discovers. For his future to be bright, he has to sort the present day issues of the failure of the family restaurant.

The sibling rivalry storyline is one that is heavily explored in movies due to its universal appeal and relatability. Dutch feels that Sonny abandoned the family business to pursue his own interests and he isn’t happy to welcome him back even after his mum urges him to do so.

Sonny on the other hand is appalled by how low the business has fallen at the hands of his brother and he is quick to point it out.

This friction isn’t new to an audience, each of us has been in a situation where one family member is doing better than the others and receives more acclaim and recognition for it.

At the end of the day, family comes first no matter the situation.

 

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