A couple of weeks in Coronavirus lockdown can do strange things to a person. All across the nation, people are cutting their own hair, baking weirdly shaped loaves of bread and recording TikToks they’ll later regret. One other thing they’re doing though is watching the terrible new Netflix Original movie Coffee & Kareem.
This is one of those films where you sense the writers came up with the title first and wrote a movie around it. That’s why viewers all over the world are settling in to watch the contrived adventures of police officer John Coffee and 12-year-old boy Kareem Manning. The pair are exact opposites, yet come to respect their differences while taking down some variety of criminal network. Currently sitting at a princely 23% on the Tomatometer (with a 35% audience score), critics have described it as having “literally one joke,” feeling like it’s “algorithmically assembled” and that it’s a “witless, noxious sludge of a comedy.”
So, why is it currently the third most-watched thing on Netflix? Coming in behind Ozark and Tiger King, the film is clearly picking up some sort of audience. Perhaps people, numb with boredom due to lockdown blues, simply want to expose themselves to something objectively awful? Maybe, but let’s see what’s going down on social media…
— Heaux Exotic the Tiger Qween (@Ayeprahl_Badu) April 3, 2020
— Erica K?? (@EricaPerfection) April 4, 2020
— Jared Buckendahl (@JaredBuckendahl) April 3, 2020
— Patrick (@PWA_1970) April 9, 2020
this movie #CoffeeAndKareem is HORRIBLE it ain't even bout all the cussing (Good Boys w/ the white boy learning bout sex, had way more) the whole movie was just trash
— mi mi (@2pr0udmama) April 9, 2020
Got through like 30 minutes of #CoffeeAndKareem on Netflix and turned it off. Wasn’t even a little bit funny. I’m tired of how black people are portrayed in the media. And a kid at that making him this vulgar. Who wrote this?
— jazmyne. (@jalexandriaaaa) April 8, 2020
Was #CoffeeAndKareem extra funny or have I been quarantined for too long…
— Natasha Sooperkool (@NSooperkool) April 8, 2020
If 2020 was a movie it would be this…#coffeeandkareem
— Danny (@Dan_lennon81) April 8, 2020
I don’t know if director Michael Dowse and his team set out to make a movie that was attracting audiences who just wanted to gawk at it, but if they did, they’ve succeeded. Whatever the case, Netflix isn’t too bothered about your reaction to something, they’ll just be pleased they’ve got eyes on their new film. And with Coffee & Kareem apparently being some variety of a hit (though I’m not sure exactly what kind), expect another buddy cop flick with a similar title coming down the streaming pipeline.
Last time I suggested that John Coffee and Kareem team up with a dog called Sugar. But hey, what if they crossed over with a British bobby named Charlie Tea and his adorable stepson Harry Biscuits? Netflix commissioners, my contact details are right here.