Review: Dark comedy 'Mope' shows interesting side of adult entertainment
Courtesy of Quiver Distribution
You’ll never forget the opening sequence to the dark comedy “Mope.” The film begins in a dark lit hallway with a red siren flashing like a ship is about to be sunk: a group of naked men are all confined in this small corridor waiting for what? Battle? Death?
Nah they’re waiting to unload their male “specimens” on a pornstar in the next room. These are what the adult industry dubs the “Bukkake Boys” and it’s grungy, low-level porn that’s rarely seen and pays little. It’s a comical sequence, complete with an operatic crescendo that swells in all the right “moments” if you catch my drift.
“Mope,” we’re told, is based on actual events and is seen as a degrading term in the porn industry. Meaning, if someone calls you a “mope,” you’re basically game to do just about anything to earn a quick buck, be it getting kicked in your nether regions or, worse, defecated on.
Our story begins with two mopes: Steve Driver (Nathan Stewart-Jarret) and Tom Dong (Kelly Sry) the duo are aspirational adult performers looking for a big break: the “Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan of porn” is what they hilariously dub themselves. They bond over the usual stuff: babes, video games, and anal porn, but these two schmucks aren’t the top of anyone’s list when it comes to casting and they make a deal with a slimy filmmaker Eric (Brian Huskey) to do anything on camera to elevate their status.
“Mope” is notable for the casting of Jarret - an African American - and Sry - an Asian American - because it showcases diversity in the adult industry. When has anyone ever seen a movie with two leads of color trying to be pornstars? Then again, hearing the premise of this film you’ll immediately understand if this juvenile comedy is for you, and when David Arquette shows up in an extended cameo playing a Ron Jeremy type director, “Mope” isn’t trying to fool anyone.
Where it does pull the ole’ bait and switch is in the final twenty minutes, which takes this insane true story off-the-rails and makes you question reality. It’s what puts “Mope” into a different category unto itself and creates a memorable viewing experience, while teaching audiences something for their troubles.
You learn something new everyday.
MOPE will be available from various digital on-demand platforms starting Tuesday June 16th.