Review by Adam Donato
Netflix has varied successes when it comes to their original films. Sometimes they’re the best movies of the year and sometimes they’re the worst. They Cloned Tyrone is the latest entry in Netflix’s filmography. The film is written and directed by Juel Taylor, who is most known for writing Creed II and LeBron James inspired projects like Space Jam: A New Legacy and Shooting Stars. The script was actually featured on 2019’s Blacklist. This clearly caught the attention of stars like Jamie Foxx, John Boyega, and Teyonah Parris. Foxx was even a producer for this project. With a star studded cast, does this directorial debut have the juice to stand out on Netflix’s original filmography?
All the credit in the world goes to the trio of main characters in the movie. Their group dynamic is the lifeblood of the movie. Each character is distinct and interesting in their own way. Obviously, Boyega has more to do as he has to play several characters in the movie, but if there was a standout of the trio, it would be Parris. About to star in the latest Marvel movie, Parris has built up quite the reputation. It will be exciting to see what opportunities she gets going forward after the exposure she will be receiving. Not to leave Kiefer Sutherland off of the hype train, but he was a solid antagonist despite his monologuing. Foxx was reduced to a more comedic role, but he’s the most prestigious of the group and everyone knows he can pull off whatever he wants. Overall, the performances are fun all around.
The story and themes of They Cloned Tyrone are similar to those explored in Get Out, Us and Sorry To Bother You. This is certainly good company to be in, but while its best aspects are reminiscent of those other films, the whole does not reach the same heights. There's nothing outwardly wrong with the film, except for the fact that it will get lost in the sea of content on Netflix. Maybe social media and good word of mouth will garner this film an audience, but the marketing has done no favors. It is good enough to deserve an audience. It would have been nice to see this have a theatrical run because it’s very good. It’s an interesting concept with inherent themes that become more compelling as the mystery of the plot is revealed.
Netflix saw amazing success releasing Glass Onion in theaters for a week, so it’s baffling they haven’t continued this practice. Opening week is when movies make their splash anyways. Garner interest there and then let it live on the streaming service forevermore. Jamie Foxx is an Oscar winner, so if it also has good reviews, then it would have had a chance at the box office. Regardless, it’s worth your time even if it’s just on Netflix. It’s a comedic science fiction thriller that is sure to suck you in.
They Cloned Tyrone streams on Netflix beginning July 21.