SYNOPSIS: In the raunchy, buddy-cop comedy Coffee & Kareem, twelve-year-old Kareem Manning hires a criminal to scare his mom's new boyfriend — police officer James Coffee — but it backfires, forcing Coffee and Kareem to team up in order to save themselves from Detroit’s most ruthless drug kingpin. 


Other than being Stuart Price in The Hangover series and as Andy Bernard in The Office, Ed Helms seems to find very little success outside of these two properties.  

In Coffee & Kareem in which he also produced, Helms stars as James Coffee, a Detroit cop who is dating Vanessa (Taraji P. Henson) the mum of a 12-year-old troublemaker, Kareem. But after stumbling on the pair of lovebirds making love, Kareem vows to break off Coffee’s relationship with his mom. However, a surprise witnessing of the death of a corrupt cop, Kareem and Coffee is forced to go on the run. In order to save Vanessa and Kareem from a trio of fumbling trigger happy drug dealers, Coffee must first grow some balls or risk losing everything.  

Coffee & Kareem is a raunchy comedy filled with expletives from start to finish. F-bombs, homophobic jokes and racial gags filled the entire script. There are some laughs of course, mostly from Kareem interaction with the inept Coffee though it’s not engaging enough to sustain a full-length feature. Even a late sequence featuring a man-to-man chat at a strip club didn’t deliver any heartening talk.

Terence Little Gardenhigh is game as the foul-mouthed young chap but his character is far from likeable in fact he is so irritable at times that you need to reach for the control to lower the volume. Helms continues to portray the loser, harmless character that he plays so often. Betty Gilpin on the other hand gets the sizzling chance to portray a hyper-edgy detective while Taraji P. Henson is shockingly relegated to a small supporting role.

Michael Dowse who did last year mismatched buddy type action comedy, Stuber recycles much of the proceedings to Coffee & Kareem. Given the obvious limited budget, Dowse makes good use of it by introducing a few over the top action sequences to cushion the annoying proceedings. Every scene is setup to evoke laughs though beware none of it makes a lot of sense but who cares if there’s a few shootouts, a crazy car chase and an ultra-violent explosion to liven things up.  

Despite all the negativity, Coffee & Kareem makes a good flick on Netflix, the current streaming giant. It’s a lame, zany action comedy that doesn’t actually cost you much money or time. If you love a haphazard collection of R-rated jokes, then go ahead and take a sip of Coffee & Kareem. 


Review by Linus Tee




Genre: Action/Comedy
Starring: Ed Helms, Terrence Little Gardenhigh, Taraji P. Henson, Betty Gilpin, RonReaco Lee, Andrew Bachelor, David Alan Grier
Director: Michael Dowse
Rating: R21
Year Made: 2020



Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese
Running Time: 1 hr 28 mins