Chocolate City movie review

Ladies can rest assure that there will be enough of the male anatomy, in all different shades and complexions to make Chocolate City a worthy trip to the theaters. And since 90% of readers of this review only want to verify, I’m happy to get that out the way. For the remaining 10% who are hoping this is just a good all around movie, that answer is a bit more tricky to answer. What I will say is that Chocolate City has all the necessary pieces and elements for a great movie.

Let’s start with the story. Former child actor turned teen star, Robert Ri’chard stars as Michael, a college student on the right path who is working at a crummy restaurant to help his mother pay the bills while his older, much lazier brother is jobless, talentless and living rent free. DeRay Davis plays the brother Chris. When their mother (Vivica A. Fox) finds her hours cut at both of her jobs, the bills become overwhelming and even with the help from Michael’s measly paychecks, they are barely able to keep the lights on as a family. A chance meeting leads Michael to a male strip club and the need for money keeps him there.

Writer and Director, Jean-Claude  LaMarre doesn’t hide the fact that this is the Black response for the Magic Mike films.  Chocolate City even begins with the acknowledgement by actor Michael Jai White in character as club owner Princeton. The film features two professional exotic dancers who help set the tone of the film, Bolo and Jamaika.  Actors who play exotic dancers in the film include Ginuwine, Darrin Dewitt Henson and Tyson Beckford. The film features a steady splash of humor thanks to DeRay and the film’s director LaMarre, who appears as the pastor in the film.  Carmen Electra is also among several other celebrities that appear in the film.

Another teen actor, Imani Hakim, appears in the film as Michael’s love interest, Carmen. Imani starred in “Everybody Hates Chris” as Tonya Rock for 5 years and last year she played Gabby Douglass in the Gabby Douglass story.  All grown up, Imani provides the only eye candy for the men who may watch the film.  Obviously, this film is not for the fellas unless your looking for tips for your routine.

While all the above mentioned come together for what should be a great film, Chocolate City still falls short. The story line quickly becomes predictable and choppy editing makes even the best intentioned film come into question. You can definitely appreciate the effort here and it’s great to see a bunch of Black actors on screen for a full length feature film, but a DVD presentation of Chocolate City would probably suffice.  Pains me to say it.

Kevin Benoit

Kevin Benoit is the editor of Parlé Magazine. He founded the magazine while in college and continues to run it today. Follow him on IG: @parlewithme Read more articles by Kevin.

Kevin Benoit has 1788 posts and counting. See all posts by Kevin Benoit


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