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They Cloned Tyrone tracks the adventure of a drug dealer (John Boyega), a pimp (Jamie Foxx), and a sex worker (Teyonnah Parris) who discover a Twilight-Zone-brand conspiracy at work in their neighborhood. The weirdness has been happening for a long time, but they’ve been too deeply entangled in the down-and-outness of their demoralizing routines to notice. When someone known to have been murdered in typical gang violence suddenly turns up alive again—well,  that’s when these three start asking questions and connecting dots. And this leads them on a circuitous journey of amateur detective work, uncovering mysterious sci-fi elevators and secret laboratories where a network of nefarious agents are running some Matrix-level wickedness.

A sex worker, a pimp, and a drug dealer walk into an elevator… and the joke, they’re about to learn, is on them. [Image from the Netflix trailer.]

They Cloned Tyrone explores one of those Black Mirror-style concepts that can serve as a multi-layered satirical commentary, specifically highlighting American brands of racism, economic manipulation, and toxic capitalism. That makes it sound overbearing and unpleasant… and it isn’t. Not at first, anyway. It’s a troubling tapestry, but one sewn with compellingly entertaining threads from Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Night of the Living Dead, Edgar Wright’s Cornetto trilogy, Joe Cornish’s Attack the Block, and—especially in its dingy aesthetics—a whole library of Blacksploitation films. (This neighborhood could really use a visit from Shaft or Foxy Brown.)

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