Power couple Todd Tucker and Kandi Buress collaborate with in-demand director Bobby Huntley for the film The Pass. Tucker pens the film's screenplay, which follows Nina (Drew Sidora) and Maurice (Rob Riley), a married couple residing in Atlanta.
Nina is thriving in her business endeavors, while Maurice is encountering difficulties. On top of that, he is under pressure from his mother-in-law to support her daughter. During a round of golf with his companions, Maurice's friend Deon (Dennis "LA" White) puts forward the idea of proposing a "hall pass" to Maurice's soon-to-be wife.
Naturally, the couple decides to engage in the "hall pass" for their anniversary. The partners, Maurice and Nina, choose for their hall pass don't fall into the guidelines established, and their lives quickly turn upside down as the one night of pleasure becomes a tool of deception.
Tucker and Huntley adeptly establish the initial premise and delve into the intricate motivations of the couple. The audience receives a glimpse into contrasting perspectives as Maurice spends time with his friends and Nina with hers. The dialogue is crafted with ingenuity to steer clear of overused cliches, resulting in a refreshing, organic approach.
As our male lead, Riley takes an everyman approach to crafting a character most men can relate to. Sidora has to carry most of the film's emotional weight, so she has more showy moments. Nothing here will get an Oscar, but that's not the angle Huntley or Tucker's screenplay aims for.
The supporting cast features work from recognizable melanin talents such as Erica Peeples, Blue Kimble, and co-producer Kandi Burruss. While they are recognizable faces, they add some substance to the film, with Peeples standing out. Peeples first came to my attention in the True to The Game trilogy, but her antagonistic turn in Season 3 of All American was where she found her niche. White also stands out, providing one-liners in his scenes when needed.
Like most, Huntley first came to my attention when his mock trailer for a New Edition biopic hit social media in 2015. Since then, I've watched Huntely become one of the most promising voices in the new crop of Black filmmakers. Huntley has always had an eye for detail in watching his shorts and other features. He focuses on his characters' eyes in this film, successfully highlighting emotions.
The film's last ten minutes feature a twist that most will predict, but there are some extra layers. added that caught me off guard. Never overstaying its welcome or taking itself too seriously, The Pass is worth a one-time watch for fans of the actors in the cast.
Final Grade: B-
The Pass is streaming on Peacock now.