Chris Rock and Diplo Turned Burning Man Into a Dystopian Buddy Comedy
Forget Kevin Hart and Mark Wahlberg trying to revive the buddy comedy over on Netflix. If the streamer would only put a “Chris Rock and Diplo team up to escape a dystopian arts festival” in the Top Picks row, that sucker would shoot straight into the Top Ten and stay there for months. Who cares if the writers are on strike — reality has everything we need.
First, there’s the unlikely team-up — the hip Black comic and the white electronic DJ, thrown together by circumstances that compel an unlikely joining of forces. You know, like ankle-deep mud that turns Burning Man into an episode of The Walking Dead. Rock in particular “was really bizarrely scared of what was going to happen,” Diplo told CNN. “He thought there was going to be cannibalism a day later and didn’t know if people were going to run on our camp and steal our stuff.”
A fate worse than cannibalism? How about portable toilets that threaten to further muddy the Black Rock Desert floor? “From what I understand, because of the flooding, the port-o-potties reportedly can’t be emptied,” Rock posted on his Instagram story. “And because the gates are closed, people can’t get in to fill generators or deliver supplies.” Yikes! How will they make it to Diplo’s Saturday night concert in D.C. on time?
Our buddy comedy — working title: Burning Out of Control — needs a supporting cast, and lucky for us, this one is ready-made. Diplo told CNN that fellow celebrities joined him and Rock on their daring attempt to escape the desert, including Cindy Crawford and Kaia Gerber (mother/daughter love interests?) and Austin Butler (the goofy but cowardly sidekick who inevitably gets killed at the end of Act 2).
As in all good buddy comedies, there’s an escape plan that has no chance of working. A five-mile hike through desert mud? In these shoes? The comic bickering writes itself. All hope seems lost when they hear a rumbling in the distance. Is it the thumping bass of Star Monster from one of the feces-covered stages back at the festival? No! It’s Diplo superfan Tony (we’re reaching out to Ben Schwartz’s people) who appears out of nowhere in a pickup truck.
“We had a good time in the back of the truck,” raved Diplo. “We rode for about four miles into the city, and we sat in a bar for a while and hung out with people and found a ride to Reno.”
Now it’s a soggier Planes, Trains and Automobiles with an EDM soundtrack remixing counterculture classics. “We found some hippies in the street that had a Sprinter van,” Diplo said. With an offer of a thousand bucks on the table, the beatniks happily consent to a road trip, man. “We just got in the back of the car, and we just drove for three hours and listened to some Neil Young and just drank some beers.”
Our movie ends with Diplo making it to the D.C. stage just in time, with Chris Rock pumping his fist from the crowd. “I’m getting too old for this shit,” Rock screams as Diplo flashes him a pair of tickets for Burning Man 2024.