The Karen movie is best what I've seen

people … The …

Beyond just “MOVIE BAD”.

But what’s better than a failed message movie? A failed message movie based on a meme! We all know how great meme movies inevitably turn out to be. So we’ve already got plenty of indication that this one is going to be… *chef’s kiss* extra spicy. Because this one is based on the ‘Karen’ meme. If you’ve spent any time on the internet during the blighted hellscape of the last two years, you know what a Karen is. But for the sake of clarity and extra mid-roll ads, I’m gonna elaborate anyway.

A “Karen” is a usually-but-not-exclusively white, usually-but-not-exclusively middle-aged woman who aggressively bullies other people in order to get her own way and satisfy her sense of self-entitlement. Speaking as someone who spent years working incustomer service: these bitches are the worst. No, you cannot have the seafood ramen without any seafood, Karen! True story…. The most notorious type of Karen - and the one this movie is concerned with - is the white, middle-aged racist woman who freaksout every time a minority breathes too loudly, and at her most chilling, employs her status as a white woman to play the victim and use the authorities against the person of colour she’s opposing.

“I’m gonna tell them there’s an African-American man threatening my life!” “There is an African-American man, I am in Central Park. He is recording me, and threatening myself and my dog.” “I’m being threatened by a man in the ramble, please send the cops immediately!”. Awareness of Karens and intolerance for their bullsh*t have both skyrocketed over the last couple of years. And the popularity of the meme even led to 2020 being called “The year of the Karen.”.

The meme took on special significance in conjunction with the rise of the BlacksLivesMatter movement. As “Karen” incidents were seen as another example of how police brutality can be weaponised against the people of colour that it disproportionally affects. Now I’m not here to declare myself “King of the Oppressed” or give you a lecture on the very real and complex issue of racism. I don’t feel qualified to do that, and that’s not what this channel’s about. But I do know sh*tty movies, and I know when a movie is trying to say something, but says it badly. Because when you make a movie about this sensitive and oh-so-important topic, of course you’d base it on a meme! What could possibly go wrong? *Glass Smashing* “What the hell are you doing, Karen?” “Is that any way to speak to a neighbour?”. The makers of Karen must think that “nuance” refers to some obscure French sauce. Because it handles its subject matter with all the subtlety of a car crash.

Everything - from the characterisation, dialogue, plot points, music choices, lighting - *everything* is so heavy-handed and so ridiculous that you just can’t take any of it seriously. “Come on, girlfriend! COME ON, GIRLFRIEND! LET’S DO THIS!”. Literally the first shot of the movie is the Karen washing away some BLM graffiti. And it never gets less on-the-nose. We also never find out who wrote the graffiti and it never comes up again. Which is going to be another running theme. Its presentation of these very real and important issues is so shallow and reductive that it says nothing beyond the obvious, and actually ends up being counter-productive. And this starts with the Karen herself.

Who is even called ‘Karen’. And in case you were too stupid to notice that brilliant bit of irony, they point it out *three f*cking times! “Wait a minute, we have a white entitled neighbour named Karen?!” “So Karen *is* a Karen? Boy, God has a sense of humour!” “Bro, she’s a Karen *named* Karen! It’s like God knew she was gonna be evil!”.

And this Karen isn’t really that much of a Karen, all things considered.

They could have gone much harder with the stereotypes.

They didn’t even give her the classic “Can I speak to the manager” haircut. Maybe they thought *that* would be a bit much, which is odd because it’s not like they’re being subtle about anything else. Aside from a couple of instances, she doesn’t behave how stereotypical Karens normally do. She also doesn’t act like a normal human being.

In fact, they’ve basically made her into a cartoon villain. Which would be fine if they’d gone down the supernatural horror route and made her a monster similar to, say, the Other Mother from Coraline. Hell, I’d have watched that. But they didn’t. So she’s not the stereotype, she’s not a monster, and her character and motivations are all over the place. I’m absolutely not denying that Karens or racists exist. But does the writer really think that Karens sit around in dark rooms, wringing their hands and going: “Black people! Black people!”. At least they recognise how absurd this is.

“Oh my goodness, this sounds like something straight out of SNL!” “More like Black Mirror!”. Yeah, don’t name-drop those things, you’re trying to punch way above your weight. “And then he send this article.” *MARIO GROWING SOUND* “OOOOOOOOH!” “You sonofabitch-a, you ruined my life-a!” “Luigi nooo-oooo-ooo!” “He’s got a red turtle shell!” *Groan*I take that back…. It’s fairly obvious that they’re trying to emulate Get Out. Except that unlike them, Jordan Peele actually knows what he’s doing. They employ some of the conventions of horror, like extreme close-ups and *that* shitty violin music you *always* hear in horror films. But they do it where it doesn’t make sense, or they do it badly. “Let’s-let’s-” “Leave my f*cking family alone!” “Get off my propety, Karen!” “No problem…” *Threatening violins continue* *Violins stop*.

It’s somewhat fitting that the writer/director’s name is Coke, as I’m assuming that’s where most of the budget went. Because the script is a goddamn mess, and the writing is laughably bad. Plot devices are introduced, and then completely forgotten about. Multiple plot threads thatcould have been interesting to explore are left completely undeveloped. It seems like they just threw a bunch of ideas and tropes at the wall to see what stuck, with the result being as broad as a river but shallow as a puddle of piss. The story is slow, boring and horribly-paced. Until the last ten minutes when it abruptly goes from 10 to 100. At least it doesn’t overstay itswelcome, at only an hour and 20 minutes, but even that feels desperately stretched out.

The characters are two-dimensional at best, and aside from the poorly-cast Taryn Manning, who does a fair job with what she was given, the performances are pretty lackluster. Cory Hardrict is particularly flat as the husband, like he really didn’t want to be there. Which is understandable. And just listen to some of this dialogue! “Tell me about your new neighbours!” “Okay… they’re black” “Really?” *Laugh* WHAT?! “They did leave their trash out on the curb.” “After the trash had been picked up?” “Yes!” “That is *not* a good start!”. Oh no! The horror! If you told a bunch of schoolkids to put on a play about racism, this is what it would sound like.

When you combine these issues with some

Really poor execution and bizarre filmmaking choices, this serious “crime, drama, thriller” turns out to be unintentionally hilarious.

*Horror sound effect* “Hey, girl!”.

If I didn’t know that this movie was written and directed by a black man for a black network, I would have assumed this was making fun of the people who don’t like racist Karens.

Which means they f*cked it up. If it *was* trying to be satirical,then it provides neither original,biting commentary, nor humour. Except for the wrong reasons. “Hey!” “Woah, sh*t!” “That stuff is so strong, I-” “Look Karen, you can’t bepopping out behind vans and sh*t,hopping out on me like that, now!”. And it takes itself *way* too seriously for these instances to be intentionally funny. So what we end up with is a bigol’ pile of cringe that’ll makeyou want to suck your teeth back into your throat. It’s a dumpsterfire of comedy that’s sometimes painful to sit through. But I watched it anyway, because this is my life now.

But before we get deeper into it, I have to give a shoutout to this article’s sponsor: sick threads! No it’s actually sponsored by my friend Elvis the Alien, who also made a article on Karen. I’m not mad though. I’m not. Back in 2017, he started an indie streetwear clothing company called Ayylien, and with the love and supportof the community, it’s now grown beyond his wildest dreams! Elvis created it specifically for people like him who enjoy movies, games, anime, and anything science-fiction related. So it’s right up my alley! With Ayylien you can be bold and embrace your weirdness through their amazing designs that are very carefully created by some of the best artists from around the world. Including this little number which… well, how could I resist? Ayylien uses only the best quality fabrics available on the market while still doing their best to keep every item affordable, with items being printed, shipped and handled with care by their team in Canada. They’re even being sold by popular Canadian skate shop Zumiez and they hope to expand more in the future, which is exciting. I’ve worn Ayylien clothing in multiple articles that I’ve made, so I can attest to their excellent quality.

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“You’re a strong, beautiful, intelligent and woke black man.” *Laughs*. You can’t make this up. It defies parody. “I mean you’re beautiful, intelligent, sexy, college-educated, socially-aware, “and on top of that a strong, beautiful black woman.”. Who talks like this?! That couple in the ‘Lemon Stealing Whores’ article was more endearing. “I wish I was a lemon!” “You wish you were a lemon? If you were a lemon, “I would put you on my shelf and cherish you like I cherish all our lemons!” “That’s so beautiful!” “Hey, has it been about ten seconds since we looked at our lemon tree?” “It been about ten seconds til we looked at our lemon tree.” *Gasp* “Hey!” “HEY WHAT THE F*CK?!”.

You could also play a drinking game with the amount of times they say “babe” or “baby”. "Hmmm, baby-" “Baby-” “Hey baby!” "Baby-" “Babe-” “Babe?” "Baby-" "Babe-" “Yes, babe…” “HAI, BABE!”.

They’re also kinda assholes themselves.

“Hi!” “She seems nice.” “Yeah, I’m sure… real nice…”.

She didn’t even do anything! All she did there was say hello, and they’re just like “Eww!”. But Karen quickly puts up cameras on her house, because, you know, she *is* a racist. Despite having scouted out the neighbourhood first and knowing that it’s named after a Confederate officer, they seem taken aback that there are white people there. They also seem to be aware that racism exists and are paranoid about it, but they’re *constantly* surprised whenever they experience it and act like they haven’t before. The cognitive dissonance on display is *too damn high*. (OhGod I feel old…).

Moving on, *of course* - (there’s a lot of 'of courses' in this movie) -. Karen has a brother who’s a cop. With a voice that was built for narrating porn. “Now, don’t worry about it.”. He didn’t even need to be here! They just wanted him to show up at this restaurant, deliver exposition about how he’s a cop, and then leave. She gets annoyed at some black guys laughing too loud, and of course she threatens to tell the manager. Although she’s being way too polite to qualify as a true Karen. *Laughter*.

Was that a laugh, or is he chocking?! What was that?! So she tells the manager and gets them kicked out. But why would the manager agree to kick out paying customers for that? They weren’t doing anything. But we have to give her the opportunity to do the Karen equivalent of twirling her moustache. While Malik is hotboxing his car, Karen interrupts to ask him to not smoke weed where her kids might see it. Which seems reasonable enough. But since she’s so concerned with policing black people, it’s odd that she’s okay with weed at all. When he goes in the house, Imani notices the weed smell. “Your wife doesn’t know, does she?” “No, she doesn’t.”.

Surprising she didn’t know about this before, since he’s doing such apiss-poor job of hiding it. He even has the munchies! Which would be adorable if he weren’t a dick about it. “Indeed, indeed. What’s for dinner, babe?” “Babe? Dinner?”. Then they start awkwardly stripping each other, while their curtains are open. I don’t care who you are: that’s weird. Close your f*cking curtains. Because anyone could stand there and rub one out to yo- oh wait….

Aww, come on…why did they have to give him a Mastodon poster…? Looks like Karen’s got a case of the munchies herself. In one of the very few subplots that becomes relevant outside of the scene it’s mentioned in, the couple has been trying to conceive, but without success. Their post-coital commiserations are interrupted by noises outside.

“Baby, should we call the police?” “No,

I am the police.”.

Oh, watch out boys, we got a

Badass over here! “is that camera directly pointing at our house?” “it’s looking right at us, babe.”.

Why are you surprised by this? You stood there and watched her install it! Imani goes next door to tell Karen to move the camera. Which is the first time the couple has madeany attempt to interact withanyone in the neighbourhood. Karen then lets her know about the curtain thing, just to make things awkward.

“Well just let me know your schedule-” *laughs* Oh, was that not meant to be funny? Malik then playsa bit of one-on-one with Karen’s son. “I’ll put that D on you, come on, boy!”. That was a really poor choice of words. This is all the development the son gets, and we never see him again. Karen asks for Malik’s help, then tries to get a bit of *Karen sobs* It’s so hard! She invites him into her house to clean himself up, and he reluctantly agrees. How is this not the start of a porno!? I’m really surprised thatshe would leave him alone in her house if she was such a massive racist. And why can’t he wash his hands in his own house?! He lives literally next door! All this just so that he can stumble into her CIA surveillance room.

This is so contrived and stupid. Oh come on, how is this not a parody?! In fact, if she really was that much of a racist, she’d have *more* confederatesh*t lying around. But we gotta have that trailer shot! I’m also surprised they didn’tgive her a Blue Lives Matter flag,seeing as how her brother’s a cop and all. You’d think that’d be a no brainer. “Karen! She’s watching us, baby!”. But you knew that already- urgh for f*ck’s sake…. At least they acknowledge how stupid that setup was. He really is an idiot.

Imani buys a camera to point back at Karen’s house. The home security salesman - who looks like a younger Snoop Dogg - flirts with her which lets us see how important loyalty is to her. Except that the potential infidelity subplot gets completely dropped at thispoint, so it’s irrelevant. Because Karen’s husband died and she’s a stay-at-home mom (not sure how that’s financially possible in her situation, but okay) she has way too much time on her hands, so *of course* she’s the head of the HomeOwners association, those hotbeds of nosy naggers with no personalities beyond their petty ego-trips.

She starts exaggerating about the involuntary exhibitionism and the husband’s weed. “Listen, they just moved in, and we need more people of colour in the neighbourhood.” “Ones that can afford it!”. That’s a bit of a weird comment seeing as how the couple managed to get the mortgage. So… they obviously can afford it… “What happens is, is it startswith weed.

Next thing you know,we have criminals coming in to our neighbourhood.” “Then we’re got pimps and prostitute, then you’re having black babies, can you imagine?!”. Ah yes, we all know that marijuana is the gateway drug to black babies! Wait, why are black babies worse than pimps and criminals?! I mean, I hate kids too, but what?! We-have-Louis-CK-at-home and the other members of the HOA disagree with her. And I’m not joking, this is the very next shot! I-*laugh* how are we not supposed to laugh at this?! After “nothing personal, kidding” behind Imani, she makes like a robot imitating human speech to get herself invited to the couple’s housewarming. “Awesome sauce!”. Awesome sauce indeed… “There she is slaving away in the kitchen!” *Groan* “They shot the man six times just for reaching for his wallet, like his life didn’t even matter!” “Huh, black lives matter!” "That's right!" “Don’t all lives matter?”. Ooh f*ck…. All you people watching at home: how do you think this conversation is going to go? Yep, that’s exactly how it goes.

“Okay, well I come from a family

Of law enforcement and i know that bad things happen to people that don’t comply.” “bad things happen to black people, you mean?” “pull the race card!” “race card?” “we’ve been oppressed and held captive on this foreign land!” “and here we go with the whole slavery thing…” “if you don’t like it here, go back!”.

These are all things that people do actually say, but this is like the worst kind of facebook comment thread. Every commentor is a one-dimensional stereotype, and this interaction is so awkward to watch. Again, if she were as big a racist as she’s supposed to be, there’s no way she’d walk alone into the middle of a house full of black people. This makes even less sense when we get more information on her background later in the movie. Malik is understandably a bit annoyed at his wife for inviting Karen. And Imani decides that now’s not a good time to have kids because of so much racism in the world. How did you not know that before?! Oh, and apparently they now have financial problems? Why would they buy this house and try to have a child if they weren’t financially stable? This just makes them look really irresponsible. And of course it never gets explained or brought up again… “It’s not the right time.” “You know what? You get your sh*t together.” “Get my sh*t-!”.

Wow, guilt-tripping your wife for not wanting to get pregnant. That’s a good look! “Trash day’s tomorrow, not today!”. Was that supposed to be intimidating? Look at this! They’ve obviously tried to cover up identifiable markings on the bin with mud, but then realised that would look weird. So instead they made it look like someone smeared their diahorea all over it. Priorities. Karen’s daughter comes out to help her. She’s not a racist, and even has a black boyfriend. That could have been interesting to explore how it affects her relationship with her mum.

But nope, that gets immediately dropped as well. And we never see *her* again either. Karen and Imani tell each other to f*ck off, and then Karen calls the cops on some young men walking through the neighbourhood. Which is surprisingly one of the more realistic scenes in the movie. But then while Karen stands on the street outside looking in like a cartoon gestapo agent, the couple talk about racism in a way that - from what I’ve been told by people of colour who’ve seen this - is not how people of colour talk about racism in private. There’s only so much realism this movie can take, after all. Karen and Cop Bro have an expository conversation that amounts to “MUH WE’RE RACIST, MUH”. And then since the HOA is being sued the father of one of the boys, who’s a prominent civil rights attorney, they kick Karen out.

She hears the phrase “black lives matter”,and then immediately vomits. Likeit’s her kryptonite or something. Oh yeah, she now gets sick with no explanation and it never gets addressed. Cool. Cop Bro pulls Malik over and plants weed in his car. This scene starts off really tense and uncomfortable to watch (over-the-top music notwithstanding). “HOW DID WE GO FROM WHIPS AND CHAINS TO WHIPS AND CHAINS?!”. But then it goes off the rails.

Cop Bro punches him, so he headbutts him back.

He’s right to be angry, but assaulting

A cop, especially a racist one who’sjust looking for an excuse? black people have been killed by cops for *way* less than that, as messed up as that is.

It feels like they gave him plot

Armour, and it ruins whatever message they were trying to convey here by being unbelievably unrealistic.

He also wouldn’t be let out really quickly if he’d done that, let’s be honest. Karen sits on Imani’s car to establish dominance, and tells her they should “GEYT OUUT!”. But she decides that they’re not going anywhere. So they go talk to the civil rights lawyer instead. “The charges never stick.

You see, he belongs to a secret society of cops. They protect each other.”. They don’t need a secret society, the police protect their own anyway. That’s how it works. I get that they didn’t want to go with an “all cops are bastards” message, which is why they have the good cop who confronts Cop Bro, but blaming it on a secret cabal of bad apples seems like an attempt to ignore the wider issue. Which is very weird of a film like this to do, right?! I can’t be the only one that thinks that? Also, it can’t be much of a secret society if this lawyer knows about it. It’s also here we find out that Karen became an insane racist after her husband was killed by a black vigilante. There’s another potentially interesting topic that they bring it up and then just go: “Oh, okay.”.

They already told us that herracism started as the result of crime and drugs in her childhood neighbourhood. So why even bother to give her this other reason if they’re just gonna handwave it away? Cop Bro gets a search warrant - they never say what for - and arrests Malik for having a gun. Though they never specify that he doesn’t have a license and in Georgia (where this is set) you don’t even need a licens to have a gun in your house, so this makes no sense. But f*ck it, they just wanted a home arrest scene. And it is insanely melodramatic, with atrocious editing. It’s an excuse to get Malik out the house, so Karen can cut the power and break in to kill Imani. Told you this escalates really quickly. *Glass smashing* *Laughs*.

I have no words. Why is she not running as soon as she sees the gun?! And where is all the red lighting in the house coming from? And of course there’s a thunderstorm. [DISPATCHER] “We have a report of shots fired at 888 Miranda Way.”. Nooooo, not the donuts! *Inappropriate music*. What is this music? It’s so inappropriate and the editing is awful. She couldn’t beat up Karen while she was on top of her and she had a leg wound? What?! Why are you standing there?! F*CKING RUN! “FINE, I’LL F*CKING SHOOT HER!”. They weren’t trying to make that funny, but they could’ve fooled me. Good cop shows up and shoots the bad cop.

Karen’s about to shoot the good cop but Imani kills her first. And why is this guy playing atrumpet? What is happening right now?! “Your silence… is compliance.”. But throughout the movie, other characters challenge Karen and Bad Cop on their bullsh*t, and Imani was even saved by a white cop. So who exactly was being silent and compliant? They even stare directly into the camera, because profound. Imani got pregnant in the end, so I guess they all live happily ever after.

What happened to Karen’s two kids? Who

F*cking cares, they’re white.

And rather than end the movie on a list ofblack people unjustly killed bythe police, and their stories, (The fact that this has its own Wikipedia article, fucking hell…) which would directly relate *this* story to real-life events… NO! Let’s cut to credits with a dancing womanthat looks like an iPod commercial or ash*tty Bond intro, and has nothingto do with the movie’s themes.

We did it, boys.

We killed racism. There were some good ideas here and a lot of potential, but it was all wasted. Karen could have been a lot more interesting if it had just fully embraced the horror route or not taken itself too seriously. Or maybe if they’d done a more indepth exploration of the psychology of a Karen and the effects of her actions both on herself and the person she victimises, especially if that person didn’t have a famouscivil rights hero for a dadto get them out of trouble. In my opinion, that would make for a much morecompelling and profound experience. But no, they just wanted to cash in on a meme. Awesome-sauce! At least they avoided going down the “all white people are racist” route, which would have just been false and needlessly alienating. But what they’ve delivered is a superficial look at racism thatignores a lot of its real-world complexities and subtleties, and just ends up being insulting to the people who experience it, or have lost their lives to it.

There are many other examples of movies or tvshows that handle these topics betterand are far more worthy of your time. But if you just want to have laugh or a goodcringe, Karen is goodfor a drunken watch party. No, you cannot have the seafood ramen without semen, Karen! Wait, that didn’t sound right…. Once again, thanks to Ayylien clothing for sponsoring this article.