Arts + Culture » Film + TV

Next Day Air

Directed by Benny Boom (Paradox)

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It can't figure out how to begin or end, but for the 80 or so minutes in between, Next Day Air is an underestimated genre surprise. The feature debut of hip-hop video director Benny Boom is smarter and funnier about human nature than The Pineapple Express, the Friday sequels and most Guy Ritchie crime sagas (its most obvious points of comparison). Observant and never preachy, the dialogue is actually worth listening to: Nearly every scene is a play on the perception that the accumulation of wealth will bring social validation and self-worth. Boom doesn't stage his story---a series of mix-ups after an eternally stoned UPS driver (Scrubs' Donald Faison) mistakenly delivers 10 bricks of cocaine to two amateur criminals (Mike Epps, Wood Harris)---in very arresting images. But he streamlines them with an energy that propels urban anxiety into screwball comedy.

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