They Cloned Tyrone review: A hilarious, introspective buddy “cop” adventure

Kayla Harrington
Teyonah Parris, Jamie Foxx, and John Boyega in They Cloned Tyrone

They Cloned Tyrone, Netflix’s newest sci-fi movie, is finally here and ready to shake up the platform with its hilarious, satire style.

At long last, Netflix has finally released They Clone Tyrone, a hilarious sci-fi satire film that explores different genres like thrillers and ’70s Blaxploitation comedies.

The movie stars John Boyega, Teyonah Parris, and Jamie Foxx as a drug dealer, sex worker, and pimp – respectively – as they band together to save their neighborhood from a government conspiracy.

While there wasn’t a lot of buzz leading up to the premiere, it still delivered an incredibly unique story that gives insight to life as a Black person in America and the lengths one would go to save their home. Warning: major spoilers for They Cloned Tyrone ahead!

The Black experience is told in a brand new way

When it comes to Black-centered stories, they’re usually told in one of two ways: through a slavery movie or a drug-focused movie. It’s incredibly rare to see Black actors and their experiences told in other genres such as westerns or rom-coms.

But They Cloned Tyrone breaks this mold as it leans into the missing gaps in the market and showcases what it’s like to be Black in a sci-fi movie. In a very Jordan Peele-esque manner, They Cloned Tyrone asks its Black audience how they would handle other worldly situations when, stereotypically, we’re told to run from any sketchy situations.

Seeing Black stories told in a new way without compromising on the characters’ personalities is incredibly important, as not every Black person comes from the same background, and therefore the media we consume shouldn’t just reflect one story.

Hiding the truth in plain sight

One of the best aspects of They Cloned Tyrone is, if you’re really paying attention, you can start to pick up on what’s going on in the neighborhood. The movie does an excellent job at laying the groundwork for what’s to come without being too obvious about it.

Some of my personal favorite Easter eggs within the film are the TV commercials Fontaine (Boyega) is constantly bombarded with, the music he listens to, and the cryptic sayings of a homeless man he interacts with every day.

John Boyega and Teyonah Parris in They Cloned Tyrone

The commercials seem innocuous at first, as they’re just advertising Black hair care products and a local fried chicken restaurant – all very stereotypical things some Black people would like. But, the advertisements seem too flamboyant and creepy to be taken seriously. And that’s because the ads were used to get the Black residents to use these products as they were laced with experimental drugs.

The phrases said by Fontaine’s homeless friend relate to what’s going on in the movie as, when Fontaine returns to the neighborhood after being shot dead (he’s a clone at this point), the homeless man remarks that he has that “new car smell.” It’s a small moment, but it makes the audience realize that the man knew what was going on the entire time. But, as people unfairly regard mentally unwell people as not to be trusted, no one questions him or what he’s saying.

As for the music, it’s used as an incredibly obvious mind control tactic, as different songs effect the residents in different ways — Slick Charles (Foxx) remarks that one song in particular “always makes me feel sleepy.” While other songs feature lyrics that literally spell out what the government agents want the residents to do, like kidnap, rob, or murder. These Easter eggs are so clever and never feel like they are being overused.

There’s thousands of Fontaines, but only one Boyega

It’s safe to say that They Cloned Tyrone is truly Boyega’s best acting performance to date, as the movie gives him a chance to explore so many different sides of his abilities.

As Boyega is playing so many clones of himself, one would think that he would maintain the same mannerisms and personalities throughout the film. But with each clone iteration that’s revealed, Boyega manages to make them all feel unique, despite all having the same face.

John Boyega, Teyonah Parris, and Jamie Foxx in They Cloned Tyrone

Boyega’s performance isn’t the only standout in the cast – Parris and Foxx do an excellent job making their characters feel so alive. The role of Yo-Yo lets Parris break out of the Marvel role and show off her badass side, while Foxx is able to slip back into the comedic yet heroic role he’s fantastic at playing.

The chemistry between the trio makes this film so fun to watch; they bounce off each other in a way that will keep the audience laughing and rooting for them from start to finish. This movie truly couldn’t have worked with any other actors.

They Cloned Tyrone review score: 5/5

They Cloned Tyrone stands out from Netflix’s catalogue of original content because it dares to do what a lot of its films don’t: it tries something new.

While the genres the film uses – sci-fi, thriller, Blaxploitation comedy – are not new to the world of filmmaking, it’s the way the movie seamlessly blends them together with its themes and performances that make this a must-watch.

They Cloned Tyrone isn’t a perfect film, but it allows Black folks to be able to see themselves in a different media, and hopefully this will be a springboard for more Black stories to be told in other genres.

They Cloned Tyrone is now streaming on Netflix. Check out more of our coverage of the movie below:

They Cloned Tyrone cast and characters | They Cloned Tyrone plot | They Cloned Tyrone post-credits scene

And you can check out our other Netflix hubs below: 

The Night Agent Season 2 | The Gentlemen | Sex Education Season 4 | Beef Season 2 | Monster Season 2 | Will there be Ginny and Georgia Season 3? | All the Light We Cannot See | Stranger Things Season 5 | Chicken Run 2 | Heartstopper Season 2 | Florida Man Season 2 | Obsession Season 2 | The Sandman Season 2