Bodied Screen 6 articles



Bodied Poster
  • This is a movie with a lot of provocateur energy that’s also, underneath the constant Wait Til You Hear This moments, fundamentally sweet-natured: a battle rap between a black woman and Korean man has them both rapping the most racist tropes against themselves. Those problematics aren’t innocuous window dressing, but they’re also part of the standard tool kit of a realm they can occupy for money, recognition and basic love of the technical game: there’s solidarity beneath all the aggression.

  • “Probably assume everything is a gun metaphor.” The opener to the Midnight Madness program at this year’s TIFF, Joseph Kahn’s Bodied is loosely a battle-rap All About Eve, but it’s so thickly packed with technical and verbal dazzle that whatever biting point it might have had to make ends up completely lost.

  • There are dozens of other nods in this rather witty and energetic rise-of-the-underdog story... Those scenes are definitely the highlight in a movie that, at just over two hours, stretches itself a tad too thin by the last act and could have probably used some trimming. Still, the electric performances, countless cultural memes and hip-hop heavy soundtrack should all help propel it into theaters

  • The gleeful approach is too scattershot, and there’s a centrist, offend-everybody-to-offend-nobody streak that would make Trey Parker proud. However, in scenes like an unexpectedly poignant showdown where two friends hurl stereotypes at themselves to avoid hurling them at each other, Bodiedstrikes beyond its parodic Instagram veneer and draws blood.

  • It’s almost beside the point to say that Kahn’s direction and staging are wonderfully fluid (like Edgar Wright, if he gave a shit about anything beyond his own iPod), or that the actors are all great, or that the raps are dazzling and appalling, but all the provocation in the world is worthless if it isn’t put across with some skill. In this case, it is; and so here we have a movie that is going to piss off a lot of people, maybe rightly, maybe even more than it can ultimately justify.

  • If that pitch sounds like the ramp-up to the kind of potential nightmare 4chan apologia you'd want to run away from, screaming, the reality of Bodied is a lot more conflicted, considered, overstuffed with ideas, and yes, sometimes, even sensitive. It’s a film that argues on behalf of the right to say anything while simultaneously emphasizing how much words can wound.