They Cloned Tyrone is a new mystery comedy film that comes off as rather unusually funny and, at times, contemplative without necessarily being too serious. The plot in this film follows three neighbors who are forced to become friends after one of them, Fontaine, shockingly comes back to life after being killed. While starting off very strong, the particular end to They Cloned Tyrone can be arguably a bit unsatisfactory and lost. But overall, some great acting performances and mostly witty dialogue make They Cloned Tyrone a rather entertaining watch.
Plot Summary: What Is The Film About?
They Cloned Tyrone begins with the protagonist, a young man named Fontaine, working out at a local gymnasium, where he is met by a young boy named Junebug. Fontaine and Junebug are close to each other despite the big age difference between them, and the boy often rides along with Fontaine. The characters are all residents of a predominantly Black neighborhood called The Glen, where life is often riddled with violence and illegal professions. Fontaine, for example, works as a drug dealer, and on this particular day, he rides with Junebug toward a delivery spot. On his way, though, the protagonist sees one of his rival dealers on the streets, presumably selling drugs on Fontaine’s turf, and chooses violence without any hesitation. Fontaine hits the rival drug dealer with his car, seemingly breaking his leg, and he then makes it clear that this is just a threat to warn him. The rival threatens to take action by informing his friend and local gangster, Isaac, but Fontaine does not pay heed to this.
That evening, Fontaine goes over to a local motel in order to collect some money that a customer owes. This customer happens to be a pimp named Slick Charles, and at this moment, the man has an argument with one of his employees, a woman known as Yo-Yo. As Fontaine arrives at the place, Yo-Yo angrily leaves and even tells him which exact room Slick Charles is in. The pimp asks for some more time to pay back for the drugs he had bought, and Fontaine leaves the place, sitting for a smoke inside his car. At this very time, Isaac and the rival drug dealer arrive at this motel since they have been looking for Fontaine for all this time, and the gangster now shoots Fontaine dead. Hearing the gunshots, Slick Charles also rushes out and sees the dead body lying in front of the motel.
However, in the strangest turn of events, Fontaine wakes up from sleep the next morning as if nothing had happened, and he goes through the day like he always does. In the evening, he goes to meet Slick Charles again, but the pimp is shocked to see Fontaine alive and unhurt. They track down Yo-Yo together, and she, too, admits to having heard the gunshots after she had left the motel. Very soon, the three characters realize that Fontaine has indeed come back to life mysteriously, after being killed the previous night, and they decide to investigate the matter together.
What Was Happening With The People At The Glen?
There are a number of strange occurrences that Fontaine starts to notice after he supposedly comes back to life. The very first incident he notices is a black SUV with tinted glass driving up to an injured man on the road and forcefully picking him up. Later on, while driving with Slick Charles and Yo-Yo, Fontaine spots this same car, and he decides to check the house in front of which the car is parked. Together, the three enter the house and soon find a shiny hidden elevator that leads to an underground vault. As the characters remain cautious of what they will find, what they actually see is beyond anyone’s imagination. Finding themselves in a sort of medical research laboratory, Fontaine and his friends come across the dead body of a man who looks exactly like Fontaine himself. As things gradually start to get more strange and complicated in They Cloned Tyrone, it is revealed that Fontaine had indeed been cloned, and the version that was now out on the streets was just a cloned version of his original self.
Over time, Fontaine, Slick Charles, and Yo-Yo manage to find more such elevators in different locations, and the real picture is presented by the film. The entire neighborhood of the Glen was actually being cloned for some mysterious reason, and yet, not all of the people were part of this operation. It was only some selected individuals, like Tyrone, Slick Charles, and the local drunk, Frog, who had been cloned, and these versions were kept inside frozen pods inside the laboratory that exists underneath the whole neighborhood. The whole matter turned out to be an experiment being conducted by some organization that is not really linked directly to the government but is powerful enough to seem like the government itself. Very strangely, all the doctors, scientists, and enforcers who work for this organization are white people, and all of the cloned victims belong to the Black community. The three characters also come across other Black individuals who are kept trapped against their will, and treacherous experiments are conducted on them.
The exact manner in which the clones are made, or at least how the people are taken away from the Glen, is also mentioned. The organization running this cloning business had various different techniques to get the people hypnotized and under their control, and all these techniques involved objects that are very much part of the Black lifestyle in America. In a financially struggling neighborhood like The Glen, fried chicken is a much-loved delicacy, not only because of people’s taste in it but also because of their regular habit of consuming it. Similarly, the use of hair products for perms is also something very commonly used by the people of the neighborhood and by the majority of Black communities. Therefore, the organization behind the cloning had come up with a specific white powder that could control the minds of people and had started to mix it in perm products and fried chicken.
When the protagonists first come across the underground facility, Slick Charles finds this white powder and tastes it, thinking it to be cocaine. However, he soon realized that the powder was actually making him giggle and get high with happiness. Later on, it was revealed that the popular fried chicken store in the locality was actually a front run by the organization itself, where all the food was laced with this mind-controlling powder, and people were therefore taken under control. Similarly, Yo-Yo also realizes the effect of the powder mixed in perm products, and the extent of the organization’s evil powers is uncovered some more. To make matters more direct, the organization had also come up with certain specific tunes and songs that were all played at the local club, and these songs could easily control the minds of Black residents. A similar song was earlier played on the radio in Fontaine’s car, which made all three of the characters feel extremely sleepy. Perhaps the songs were still in an experimental stage at this point, and their full potential is seen later when the organization takes control of all the Black people, and makes them chase Fontaine, Slick Charles, and Yo-Yo.
One of the higher officials of the organization, named Nixon, then makes his appearance and explains the purpose of the cloning experiments, at least to some degree. A white man himself, Nixon talks about how the cloning plan is to essentially ensure that The Glen stays the way it is and that it is a front for something more serious that he does not reveal yet. At this point in They Cloned Tyrone, it seems almost certain that the cloning and experiments have a whole racial charge to them, with the white population wanting to control the Blacks in order to essentially rule over them once again. Fontaine, Slick Charles, and Yo-Yo also deduce the situation to be like this, as they are threatened to forget whatever they have found out and instead go about their normal lives again. But later on, when Yo-Yo is kidnapped by the organization and Slick Charles manages to gather an army of all local gangsters and fighters to infiltrate the underground facility, something different is revealed.
“They Cloned Tyrone” Ending Explained: Why Were The Clones Actually Made?
Realizing that the only way to fight against this evil organization would be to unite all the Black residents of the neighborhood despite their internal issues, Slick Charles makes a detailed plan. Fontaine goes over to Isaac once again and fakes being shot dead so that people from the organization immediately collect his body and replace him with another clone. Once this is done, Fontaine wakes up inside the facility and wreaks havoc inside the place while Slick Charles and his army infiltrate the place through the secret elevators. As the group makes their way towards Nixon, believing him to be the main leader of the experiments, Fontaine is brought down by Nixon’s henchman, Chester, and taken to a different section of the facility. Interestingly, Chester is a clone of Fontaine himself, making it clear that other clones of the man were already being used.
It is then revealed that the main perpetrator behind this strange cloning experiment was Fontaine himself, or a different version of him. The two versions of Fontaine we had seen so far in They Cloned Tyrone—the first at the beginning of the film and the second after the man was initially shot dead by Isaac—were both clones of the real man. Instead, the real Fontaine, a much older man who was a scientist by profession, was the one who had come up with the cloning and was now doing it over the people of the Glen. The scientist had made numerous clone copies of himself, much younger in age than he actually is, and kept one version of him out on the streets. When Fontaine had been killed by Isaac, the organization quickly replaced the man with a different clone version so that he would live on, just like most other residents of the Glen.
The reason for Scientist Fontaine’s cloning plan is also revealed, as he once had a younger brother who had been brutally shot dead by a policeman due to racial profiling and the horrific prejudice that he must have been a criminal because he was Black. The Fontaine we have followed also remembered this younger brother, and this had been the predominant reason behind his dislike and distrust of authority. But the reason he remembered the brother, despite being a clone version, was that Scientist Fontaine had implanted this specific memory in each of his clones to make it a part of their character. Having lived a long life directly facing and seeing racism against the Black community, the man wanted to get rid of racism in the most bizarre way—by getting rid of different races and ethnicities altogether. Scientist Fontaine reveals that his next experiment is to create clones of mixed races, as he firmly believes that assimilating into other cultures is far better than getting annihilated by them. Fontaine puts an end to these plans by taking control of Chester, the cloned bodyguard, and making him kill the scientist.
Who is Tyrone?
As both the scientist and Nixon are killed by the residents of The Glen, the entire underground research facility is brought down, and all the people kept trapped for experiments are also released. The clones are left to be destroyed along with the facility, and the trapped people are let out onto the streets. The whole matter is covered and telecasted live by various television news channels. Fontaine, Slick Charles, and Yo-Yo are reunited too, and they decide to move to Memphis together, even suggesting that the evil organization might just crop up once again in other Black neighborhoods too.
So far, They Cloned Tyrone has kept us guessing as to who the Tyrone mentioned in the title actually is, for we have not seen any such character yet. It is now, at the very end of the film, that the focus shifts to a different man who looks exactly like the protagonist, Fontaine, except for his hairstyle. It is revealed that the man lives in Los Angeles, and he then goes through the exact same events on a normal day as Fontaine did. As the man goes over to a friend’s house and they all watch the news on TV together, they come across images of Fontaine, and it is now revealed that this man is named Tyrone. The friends exclaim how they must have definitely cloned their friend, Tyrone, and Tyrone, too, realizes that Fontaine looks like a clone of him. They Cloned Tyrone‘s ending suggests that Fontaine’s clones were spread all across the United States under different identities, suggesting that the evil organization and their plans of cloning until no separate races remained were indeed bigger than just The Glen. Or, it could even be that Tyrone was the original version, and every Fontaine, including the scientist, were just clones of the real Tyrone.