The satirical sci-fi conspiracy film, They cloned Tyrone, now it’s streaming, but should i give it a watch?
In a recent episode of the wonderful movie review podcast The panoramaco-host and film critic Sean Fennessey brought up what he dubbed as the «Get Out Generation» of movies in reaction to the recent horror comedy release. the blackening which came out earlier this summer.
Get out of The release was such a massive cultural and cinematic success that it spawned a string of films over the past five years that have been influenced by its specific mix of racial and social themes mixed with more suspenseful genres like horror or sci-fi with a dash of satirical wit.
movies like midsummer, Mother, Run, Babysitter, Sorry to bother you, The candy man (2021) and, of course, Peele’s follow-up movies. Us and No they have benefited from the notoriety and audience appetite for this style of film.
While Fennessey’s hypothesis concluded with the theory that once a parody film like the blackening arrives, the style being parodied will no longer have the tight grip on its audience that it once had, Netflix is hoping there’s room for at least one more with its latest addition to the bunch, They cloned Tyrone.
Co-written and directed by creed II write Juel Taylor, the film pays homage to the model established by Go out and Peele’s ’70s and ’80s influences (as They live, A Clockwork Orange, Invasion of the body snatchers& The Stepford Wives to name a few) and remixes it with the look of ’70s Blaxsploitation crime movies set in the inner city and a dash of ’90s John Singleton tone when introduced at the beginning.
Tyrone centers on Fontaine (John Boyega), a young neighborhood drug dealer who is gunned down by his rival Isaac one night and is shocked to wake up in his bed the next morning completely unharmed. Gathering clues to solve his own mystery, Fontaine enlists local pimp Slick Charles (Jamie Foxx) and prostitute Yo-Yo (Teyonah Parris) to search for «Nancy Drew»-style answers. But when the trail leads to a nefarious government conspiracy, this unlikely trio must decide whether to maintain the status quo or finally stand up to their overlords for the good of their community.
With so many obvious influences and themes on display, it would be incredibly easy for Taylor’s film to fall victim to clichés and platitudes. However, the first-time director uses his incredible cast and mystery atmosphere to set himself apart from his peers.
If you make it too funny or satirical, you land in Undercover Brother or The Blackening territory. Make it too serious and the 70s Blaxsploitation feel sounds fake and hacky. Take it out of the city center and put it in the suburbs and it clones Get Out. Taylor strikes a balance that can be hard to find, especially in the direct-streaming movie market.
The film reaches its peak when the bizarre Scooby Doo A gang of Boyega, Foxx and Parris join forces to track down the secret conspiracy beneath the surface of their neighborhood. The quirkiness and reluctance of Foxx’s Slick Charles, the bubbling anger and commanding presence of Boyega’s Fontaine, and the persistent, aspirational nature of Parris’s Yo-Yo all keep the audience amused and a useful Swiss Army knife for its director to match the different tones that make the film so snappy and enjoyable.
While the conspiracy itself doesn’t break new ground (including the spent ingredients of Chicken, Crème, and Church), the «assimilation vs. annihilation» dialogue and backdrop of America’s failed experiment is relevant and compelling enough to give the story the depth needed to make the journey stick.
In general, They cloned Tyrone gives new life to Go out social horror movies of recent years. Juel Taylor’s debut effort gives its audience a pulpy mystery, effortlessly funny performances, and a social conversation worth exploring. What could have been a «clone» of Jordan Peele’s filmography ends up being something exceptionally entertaining and stands on its own.
Look They cloned Tyrone on netflix if you like
- Go out
- undercover brother
- Cabin in the woods
- jackie brown
- the blackening
MVP of They cloned Tyrone
John Boyega as Fontaine.
Breaking into a big franchise is both a blessing and a curse for a young actor, especially actors of color. While it may be seen by a mass audience, they may want to put it in that box forever.
John Boyega is quietly putting together an irrefutable collection of solid performances that make him one of the most consistent and interesting actors we have right now. Following in the footsteps of fellow talents like Daniel Kaluuya and LaKeith Stanfield, Boyega is showing his chops in low- and mid-budget movies with films like Detroit, Breaking, and The Woman King.
With Tyrone, it marks another great performance in a well-made film that has something to say to the culture. Fontaine is the constant backbone of the sci-fi schism that surrounds him. The tone that his character sets keeps this multi-layered, genre-blending story from going off the rails.
PLAY, PAUSE OR STOP?
Science fiction, comedy and mystery all wrapped up in a message worth discussing. Boyega, Foxx and Parris are an absolute blast and a well balanced trio.