When I first saw the trailer for Karen, I said it looked like it was everything the mainstream media and Hollywood want us to believe this country is like. It turns out, I was correct. There is some fun in the cringe, and unintentionally funny moments, but not enough. The movie is incredibly insufferable and full to the brim with every social justice talking point possible. I shouldn’t have been surprised.
It’s obvious that Karen wants to be a satire. The problem with that though, satires are based on reality whereas this movie is not. It’s based on what a certain political or social grouping wants you to believe to be reality. In that reality all white people are racist, all police are violent and all black people are ostracized and hated when all they want to do is get along and live in peace. Nobody is saying racism doesn’t exist and some of these things do happen, but a cold examination of statistics and facts shows they are the exceptions that prove the rule. I don’t want to get too bogged down on this crap, so let’s talk about the movie.
A young black couple moves into a rich neighborhood. They have a homeowner’s association (HOA), which Karen is the head of. She’s exactly like the meme, minus the short blonde hair which was a missed opportunity. That’s the biggest problem I have with the whole “Karen” thing being used here. If you are going to do it, commit properly!
For anyone that doesn’t know, you’d walk away from this thinking the meme is about racist white women and that’s just not the case. They took a popular meme, piggybacked on it and now it’s going to be Pepe. You see, it’s easy to get sidetracked in a tangent about this movie.
Malik and his wife Imani move into a new home in this rich neighborhood and Karen is their new neighbor. They’re trying to have a baby and start a family. They and their friends are also big Black Lives Matter (BLM) supporters, so of course, there’s a bunch of rhetoric about that. The movie makes it clear that BLM is all about stopping police brutality and completely leaves out their stated Marxist aims alongside all that.
There’s a great cringe scene where Malik and Imani are having a house warming party and Karen shows up. This is by far the best scene when they start talking about BLM issues and Karen goes right into all the supposed talking points that white people have about the organization and police brutality. It was so cringe I thought my skull was going to cave in, but funny… unintentionally.
The movie doesn’t have much of a plot. It’s a cluster of scenes where Karen shows up acting kooky. It seems kind of off really, as it is clear her life is very organized. She has a couple of kids that are shown and then pushed to the side and never seen again. Everything seems to have it’s place with her and she follows all the HOA rules to the letter. Apparently the sudden appearance of black people throws her off. I guess that’s what happens to racists.
There was also what seemed like a plot point that was cut off. Malik puts anti-freeze in Karen’s car for her and spills some. She offers to let him in her house to wash his hands. Once inside she offers to wash his shirt and almost begs him to take it off. I feel like the movie was going to have an angle of her trying to make his wife jealous or something, but then nothing more happens.
The funniest part was when he’s in her bathroom and seeing the soap dispenser has a rebel flag on it. It’s then he also notices some pictures on the wall in the bathroom of confederate soldiers. He’s horrified by this and rushes out. You’d think he saw pictures of mutilated babies or something.
Not only does Malik have a run-in with the police, but the main cop is Karen’s brother and he’s obviously racist too. The movie makes a big deal out of him in a weird way. If they just had him be a racist, okay, that’s exactly what you’d expect, but it goes further. It’s made clear he’s had multiple violations as a cop, but he’s apparently part of some underground cop brotherhood, secret society. Not a joke, the movie literally refers to it as that. I’m surprised the movie doesn’t have Klan hoods as part of the standard police uniform.
Karen has a serious tone, but it’s so over the top, it comes off as an SNL skit. I would say unfunny SNL skit, but when was the last time SNL was funny? The movie beats you over the head with anything and everything you’ve seen on Twitter. Honestly even if you agree with the stuff this movie is trying to get across, I’d assume you’d still hate it, because it’s just propaganda and not a well developed movie. Karen wants to be a satire, but it’s not at all realistic. It’s garbage.