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Next Day Air



A perpetually stoned delivery man named Leo unwittingly delivers a package of 10 kilos of high-quality cocaine to the apartment across the hall from its intended recipients, who are anxiously awaiting its arrival. It winds up in the hands of a couple of inept crooks, Brody and Guch, who look at it as manna from God and set about to sell it to Brody's drug dealing cousin and his accomplice. Meanwhile, their neighbor Jesus and his clueless girlfriend embark on a desperate search to find their stash before the unforgiving drug kingpin who sent it to them finds out it's missing.


A game cast led by Donald Faison (who also produced) as the inept delivery man provide the laughs in this Tarantino-esque screwball farce. Faison is quite funny as the stoner Next Day Air worker who sets the dominoes in motion, with Mike Epps and Wood Harris expertly playing the ''dumb and dumber'' hoods who think they've found nirvana in the coke-laden mystery package. Also making an impression are Cisco Reyes as the Puerto Rican dealer sweating out the missing box of drugs, Yasmin Deliz as his girl and Omari Hardwick as the cousin looking to make the deal. Mos Def steals his brief scenes as a colleague of Leo's and Debbie Allen is smartly sassy as Leo's mother/boss. Emilio Rivera rounds out the principal cast as the intense and unforgiving drug lord.


With all these divergent characters focused on one very valuable package, director Benny Boom has his work cut out for him, but he merges the various lowlifes in and out of focus surprisingly well. Sure, they're all stereotypes, but each gets their moments to amuse. This is not brain surgery and Boom knows that, milking the silly situation for all the laughs it allows. Next Day Air is better than it has any right to be (if you check your brain at the door).


The film should have stayed with the comedy (ala Pineapple Express) instead of inserting unnecessary, grainily-shot violent flashbacks to up the body part count. It's as if a committee decided there wasn't enough bloodletting and told the director to insert these pointless scenes. The inevitable final showdown also seems out of place with the light tone set earlier, but does provide no end of irony in wrapping up all the loose ends.


For full enjoyment, don't try to make sense of the fact that a seasoned kingpin would send such a large parcel of illegal drugs through a commercial courier service. Obviously there would be no movie if he didn't, but last time we checked no one was using FedEx to ship heroin.


Either way. At a breezy 84 minutes, Next Day Air is an agreeable timewaster.



Bottom Line rated this film 3 stars.