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Coffee & Kareem

Coffee & Kareem

2020

As James Coffee's relationship with Vanessa Manning blossoms, her precocious son Kareem plots to sabotage their love. His misguided attempts to hire hitmen fail spectacularly, instead exposing a criminal underworld that threatens his family. Forcing an unlikely alliance, Kareem and Coffee embark on a high-stakes chase through Detroit, putting their differences aside to protect the people they care about most.

Runtime: 88 min

Language:

By:

Directors:

Genres:

Ratings:

Metacritic

35

Metascore

3.3

User Score

Metacritic
review

21%

TOMATOMETER

review

29%

User Score

Metacritic

5.2 /10

IMDb Rating

Check out what happened in Coffee & Kareem!

In the Motor City metropolis of Detroit, Officer James Coffee (Ed Helms) finds himself entangled in a web of domestic drama as he visits his girlfriend Vanessa Manning's (Taraji P. Henson) residence during the day. As their intimate moment unfolds, a fleeting glimpse of Vanessa's son Kareem (Terrence Little Gardenhigh) sparks a sense of unease within Coffee, prompting him to query his partner about the young boy's whereabouts. Vanessa reassures him that Kareem is safely at school, but her words are laced with a subtle warning: if he cannot accept her son as an integral part of their life together, then their relationship will be forever altered.

Meanwhile, at school, Kareem's concerns about his mother's dating choices simmer beneath the surface. He confides in his friend Dominic (Chance Hurstfield) about Vanessa's decision to date a white man and, more perturbingly, a law enforcement officer - a prospect that threatens to upend his own aspirations as an up-and-coming rapper. As he grapples with this reality, Kareem concocts a plan to exact revenge on Coffee by recruiting local gangsters to wreak havoc on the unsuspecting officer.

In a separate turn of events, Detective Linda Watts (Betty Gilpin) spearheads a high-stakes drug bust operation, culminating in the arrest of notorious rapper Orlando Johnson (RonReaco Lee). As Watts deputizes Officer Coffee to transport Johnson to jail, the cunning crook seizes the opportunity to make his escape, pilfering Coffee's patrol car and capturing the attention of YouTube's millions. The incident sparks a fresh wave of humiliation for the beleaguered officer.

Coffee's frustration reaches a boiling point when he confronts Captain Hill (David Alan Grier) about Detective Watts' relentless verbal abuse and personal jabs, including her taunts about his ex-wife's infidelity. However, Watts remains unmoved by Coffee's complaints, instead choosing to ridicule him for his ineptitude in apprehending Orlando Johnson. Hill responds by reassigning Coffee to traffic duty, a demotion that leaves the entire police station in stitches as he departs.

As Vanessa places the phone call that would change everything, Coffee is faced with an unexpected request from Kareem: he needs to be picked up from school. Initially hesitant, Coffee's discomfort gives way to a sense of obligation, and he agrees to make the pickup without revealing his new traffic duty responsibilities. Meanwhile, Kareem has been busy showcasing his creative side by delivering a rap as a poetry presentation at school. With a newfound air of confidence, he is picked up by Coffee, who is oblivious to the young boy's true intentions. As they drive away, Kareem's hostility towards Coffee becomes palpable, and he deliberately steers him towards a boxing gym where Orlando Johnson has taken refuge.

Unbeknownst to Coffee, Johnson and his accomplices, Dee and Rodney (William 'Big Sleeps' Stewart, Andrew Bachelor), have a cop in their custody, brutally beaten and helpless. Johnson falsely accuses Coffee of molestation and offers them a substantial sum to exact revenge on him. As the situation escalates, the desperate cop pleads with his tormentors to spare his life, only to be met with a senseless act of violence as Dee takes aim and ends the officer's life. The sound of gunfire catches Coffee's attention, prompting him to rush into the gym alongside Kareem, where they engage in a chaotic firefight before fleeing into the trunk of a passing car.

As they hide in the trunk, Coffee reaches out to Watts, sharing his concerns about Orlando Johnson. However, their conversation is cut short by Kareem, who has realized that the deceased cop was corrupt and that they cannot trust anyone. Furthermore, Kareem's phone - which contains incriminating evidence of the murder - has been left behind, putting Vanessa's life in jeopardy. As the driver pulls over, Coffee and Kareem commandeer the vehicle, leading them to Vanessa's residence.

Initially, they attempt to blend in with their surroundings, but as the news reports begin to unfold on television, it becomes clear that Coffee is being accused of having a psychotic break and kidnapping Kareem. In a desperate bid to deflect attention from themselves, Kareem uses Coffee's taser to subdue Vanessa, shocking his guardian into unconsciousness. As Johnson and his accomplices arrive at the scene, Coffee carries Vanessa out the back door, sparking a frantic escape from their pursuers.

As they arrive at the seedy motel, Coffee and Kareem are met with a jarring sight: on television, a news broadcast is painting his name in an unfavorable light, linking him to the murder of a dirty cop. In desperation, Coffee implores Kareem to join forces with him, and after some hesitation, Kareem agrees, but only if they make a pact: Coffee must sever all ties with Vanessa, and as a peculiar condition, Kareem demands that they visit a local strip club together. Reluctantly, Coffee acquiesces, leaving behind a note for Vanessa explaining the situation before tracking down Kareem's phone to the location of their next lead - Johnson.

In an unconventional moment of wisdom, Kareem counsels Coffee on how to stand his ground against bullies: by embracing an unapologetically flamboyant and aggressive demeanor, reminiscent of the infamous Mike Tyson. Despite Coffee's initial reluctance, they follow Kareem into the lair of their adversaries, where a stash of drugs is being manufactured. As Kareem distracts the guards with his outrageous flirting, Coffee takes down each one with swift efficiency.

Upon encountering Johnson, the tension escalates into a brutal fight, but Kareem intervenes, pinning Johnson to the ground at gunpoint. Coffee and Kareem then bind their captive, attempting to extract information about the drugs and the corrupt cops involved. However, Johnson remains unimpressed by Coffee's intimidation tactics until Kareem's constant needling wears him down. Emboldened, Coffee reveals his true feelings - a romantic confession that is worlds apart from Kareem's more aggressive approach.

As they continue to question Johnson, the pair discovers a shocking truth: Kareem's phone has been lodged up Johnson's rear end, leaving them with a digital smoking gun. Convinced that this incriminating evidence is their only hope for proving Johnson's innocence, Coffee and Kareem threaten to delete it unless Johnson cooperates. In desperation, Johnson confesses that Watts is the dirty cop pulling the strings behind the drug trade.

Moved by Johnson's plight, Coffee agrees to protect him and loads him into the trunk of his car. Meanwhile, Dee and Rodney, alerted by the motel clerk's call to the police, arrive at Vanessa's room with sinister intentions - intent on kidnapping her.

As Hill's world begins to unravel, a clandestine meeting with Coffee takes him to a seedy strip club, where the latter opens up about his troubled past. The revelations are jarring: Coffee recounts how his own abusive stepfather terrorized his mother, and how Hill would intervene, sparking a desire in Coffee to become a cop - not out of a sense of justice, but as a way to prove he was different from his tormentor. More shocking still is Coffee's admission that he never wanted to be Kareem's father and has no intention of being one. Amidst the confessions, Coffee tries to connect with Kareem on a more personal level, discussing girls and paying a stripper to role-play a conversation with him.

Just as this unusual bonding experience reaches its climax, Hill arrives with Watts in tow, only to find himself face-to-face with his former mentor's true nature. As tensions escalate, Watts pulls out her gun and takes aim at Watts, forcing Hill to respond in kind - revealing his own complicity in the corruption. Watts' plan is to frame Coffee for the shooting and then eliminate him, but Kareem seizes the opportunity to escape, leaving Watts no choice but to take out Coffee as well. In a desperate bid to save his friend, Kareem commandeers Watts' patrol car and speeds off with Coffee, narrowly avoiding a hail of bullets.

As they make their getaway, Watts is left fuming, ordering Johnson - who's been quietly imprisoned in the trunk - to drive the stolen vehicle into pursuit. A high-stakes chase ensues, with Watts and Johnson hot on the heels of Kareem and Coffee. The driving becomes increasingly reckless, ultimately leading to a crash that gives our heroes a chance to slip away. It's then that they stumble upon their motel room, only to discover that Vanessa has been taken - a revelation that sends Kareem reeling.

Coffee tries to offer some comfort, but Kareem is consumed by grief and anger. His desire for revenge is matched only by Coffee's cold calculation: he reveals his intention to dump Vanessa anyway, just as she walks back into the room. The aftermath of this shocking bombshell is a flashback-heavy montage that exposes the true nature of Vanessa's malevolence. When Dee and Rodney arrive, they're met with brutal violence at her hands - and it becomes clear why Kareem is so desperate to rescue his sister. As Coffee watches helplessly, Watts' henchmen swoop in, snatching Vanessa and Kareem from under his nose, leaving him feeling powerless and defeated.

As Coffee (actor name) makes a drastic decision to swap his life for the freedom of Vanessa (actress name) and Kareem (actor name), he sets in motion a chain reaction of events that will leave destruction and chaos in its wake. With an unyielding determination, he drives up to Watts' location, demanding the release of the two individuals he's willing to sacrifice everything for. When Watts (actress name) refuses, threatening to kill Kareem on the spot, Coffee calmly retrieves the pins from two grenades and begins his calculated march towards her. Dee's (actor name) skepticism that Coffee is bluffing only serves as fuel for his resolve, as he takes a bullet in the shoulder from her gunfire. With his momentum halted, he drops the explosives and enters a state of panic, inadvertently sending one detonating into a group of drug dealers, leaving them mangled and their contraband bloodied and scorched. The second grenade gives Coffee just enough time to whisk Vanessa and Kareem away to safety, as Watts' fury at having her valuable drugs compromised knows no bounds.

With the Canadian buyers (actress name) set to arrive and her profits in jeopardy, Watts orders Johnson (actor name), now promoted to Rodney's (actor name) level, to hunt down Coffee, Vanessa, and Kareem. However, a peculiar revelation unfolds as Johnson discovers that his adversary is just like Kareem - hiding behind an armor of bravado to compensate for deep-seated insecurities. Vanessa's (actress name) compassionate nature proves too great for Johnson to resist, convincing him to abandon his lethal mission and instead join forces with the trio.

As the situation spirals out of control, the Detroit metro police arrive on the scene, triggering a maelstrom of gunfire and explosions. While Kareem and Vanessa manage to escape unscathed, Coffee finds himself pinned down by Watts' relentless pursuit. Amidst the chaos, the briefcase containing the ill-gotten gains bursts open, sending Watts scrambling for the cash as the building around her erupts into flames.

As Vanessa and Kareem watch in horror, Coffee emerges from the inferno, his body severely burned but miraculously alive. Rodney escapes with a stash of cocaine, Johnson is officially co-opted by the authorities, and Watts, though gravely injured, refuses to relinquish her grip on life. In a poignant moment, Coffee asks Vanessa to be his wife, only to be met with her wry remark that she'll have to wait until his disfiguring burns heal before saying "I do." The tables turn once more as Vanessa seizes Watts' gun and delivers a merciless barrage of bullets, ultimately silencing the vengeful adversary. Kareem's (actor name) blessing for Coffee to continue seeing his mother marks the start of a new chapter in their lives, as they share a heartfelt fist bump.