In an overly modern (and at times incredibly fair) skewering of current liberal culture, Bodied leaves a trail of hypocrisy in its wake . The Eminem produced rap battle film centers around a white progressive goody two shoes grad student played by former Disney Channel star Calum Worthy finds himself immersed in the world of competitive rap battles.
Having Eminem as a producer certainly grants the film street credit, and the rap battles themselves serve to eviscerate any sense of political correctness. The film certainly opens up a larger discussion about cultural appropriation, context, and language. However the delivery method for these topics is about as tactful as a bull in a china shop.
The film is certainly geared towards a modern audience. It relies heavily on social media, YouTube (which also serves as a distributor) and an audience being familiar with the zeitgeist of 2018. This feels like it’s going to severely hurt the film having a prolonged relevancy shelf life.
While the film holds up a harsh mirror to current liberal culture (not that it’s a conservative film by any means) the performance quality with which it does so feels lacking. There’s also a serious failure of the Bechdel test. In fact most of the female characters in the film come off as one dimensional. They either serve a mostly disposable purpose, though sometimes a noble one as several are given soliloquies, or are gross caricatures who are talked about in a misogynistic and foul way. This doesn’t feel like it’s done intentionally or to prove some sort of point. It feels like an oversight, or perhaps a glimpse into the true inner workings of the director.
More about the film: Words are weapons in the world’s most brutal lyrical sport. Produced by Eminem and directed by world-renowned music video director Joseph Khan, “Bodied” is a go-for-the-jugular, hilarious look inside the competitive world of rap battles.
Starring Jackie Long, Calum Worthy, Anthony Michael Hall, Shoniqua Shandai, Prospek, Dizaster, Rory Uphold, Charlamagne Tha God
Produced by Adi Shankar, Jil Hardin, Paul Rosenberg, Eminem
Bodied is out in select theaters now.
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