Detroit-set Netflix comedy is rude, profane and loathsome


Loud, crude, brash and — most offensively of all — not funny, the Detroit-set "Coffee & Kareem" is a thoroughly annoying cops and kids comedy.  

Ed Helms stars as James Coffee, an officer with the "Detroit Metro" Police Department, whatever that is. He's dating single mom Vanessa Manning (Taraji P. Henson), much to the chagrin of her 12-year-old son Kareem (Terrence Little Gardenhigh). 

Young Kareem is doubly offended by Coffee: it's bad enough that anyone is dating his mom, let alone a cop, since he's a young wannabe rapper with a particular disdain for the police.

An attempt to get Coffee and Kareem to bond turns into a caper involving hundreds of bullets and just as many swear words, as the script by Shane Mack seems like it was revised by middle schoolers to include as many bawdy obscenities as possible.   

Betty Gilpin ("The Hunt") is in the mix as one of Coffee's fellow officers; native Detroiter David Alan Grier is on board as the police captain. Both are wasted in the cacophony of cuss words and senseless violence.

The biggest problem with "Coffee & Kareem" is no one is likable, least of all Gardenhigh's character, whose tough-talking, off-putting exterior isn't masking any inner insecurities. The kid's just a jerk. 

Director Michael Dowse tries to pass off Quebec for Detroit; some exterior shots of the city are thrown in but the movie has no feel for Detroit. In one scene, a car is traveling east down Jefferson away from the Ren Cen; in the next, it goes east past the Ambassador Bridge. "Coffee & Kareem" is so flat footed, even its geography is a mess.


'Coffee & Kareem'

GRADE: D    

Not rated: violence, language, sexual situations, gore

Running time: 88 minutes

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