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Review: Geeks go gangster in fresh, lively “Dope”

“Dope” hooks you fast and strong.

The coy, over-the-top Sundance hit from writer-director Rick Famuyiwa about a couple of geeks who get entangled in gangster culture is a fresh and slightly rebellious take on the series of escalating events story

Our hero, Malcolm (Shameik Moore), is introduced in his senior year of high school. His existence is curated to a stylist’s perfection. He and his friends Jib (“The Grand Budapest Hotel’s” lobby boy Tony Revolori) and Diggy (Kiersey Clemons) like 1990s hip hop culture, play in a 3-person punk band, get good grades and stay out of trouble.

They live in the Darby-Dixon neighborhood of the gritty Los Angeles suburb of Inglewood, or, “the bottoms.” To survive, they try to do their own thing and avoid the bad eggs. Jib at one point wishes idly that Waze was capable of identifying bike routes home with no gang activity. Their proximity to danger is more of a nuisance than anything else — at least at the beginning.

The label and aesthetic obsessed Malcolm wants to go to Harvard and he doesn’t want to rely on clich

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