Top Five is Chris Rock’s comeback film. It stars a slew of comedic actors including Kevin Hart, Whoopi Goldberg, Cedric the Entertainer and Tracy Morgan.

Directed and written by Rock himself, Top Five has everything including a sick soundtrack, composed by none other than Jay Z and Kanye West, which takes us back to feeling like we are about to watch one of Rock’s standup specials.

The film centers around Andre Allen (Rock), a comedian who doesn’t want to be funny anymore and practically kneads his new film Uprize, about a Haitian slave revolt, down his fans’ throats even though all they want to see is ‘Hammy the Bear,’ the character that made him famous.

The film takes place over the course of a few days as Chelsea Brown, played by Rosario Dawson, a journalist from The New York Times, is intent on unearthing Allen’s story. At first Brown and Allen butt heads, Brown asking a series of intimate questions and Allen defiantly deflecting them. But over the course of a day we find out that Brown, like Allen, is a recovering alcoholic and the story stops being about Allen and becomes a story about the budding relationship between the two.

The film gives us great scenes between Rock and Dawson, but the better scenes are when Rock joins other comedians. There is a conversation with Hart that steals the show, as Hart is always at his best. Morgan and Cedric The Entertainer’s characters aren’t anything new, but the comedians are still funny enough to distract from Rock’s mediocre acting. Later in the film Jerry Seinfeld and Adam Sandler make an appearance at a strip club with Goldberg and Rock, and while their comedy doesn’t hit the gut the way it used to, their presence is refreshing and reminds us of where Rock came from. But I would have to say that my favorite appearance by far was that of Leslie Jones (Saturday Night Live) who is authentically funny. She adds the realness in a world full of male comedians and is unapologetic.

Rock and Dawson have such a great chemistry on screen that we all but forget about the fact that he is soon to be wed to Gabrielle Union’s character, reality star Erica Long. Long’s story arc had to be for the sole purpose of adding another female voice and possible drama, because we could have done without Union’s character and still laughed for days.

Top Five has an amazing cast, a lot of laughs, some betrayal, some suffering, love, a fairytale and even a fight scene. But it also tells a great story of overcoming the tribulations that life puts you through and laughing through them and finding love not only in other people, but in what you do and who you are.

Top Five is a gem and if you don’t watch it for the great story it tells, at least watch it to see DMX singing behind bars. I promise, you will not be disappointed.

Buy Top Five here:

Read more about: