White Chicks
R E V I E W   B Y   R I C H   C L I N E dir Keenen Ivory Wayans
scr Keenen Ivory Wayans, Shawn Wayans, Marlon Wayans, Andy McElfresh, Michael Anthony Snowden, Xavier Cook
with Shawn Wayans, Marlon Wayans, Jaime King, Brittany Daniel, Frankie Faison, Lochlyn Munro, Eddie Velez, Jessica Cauffiel, Busy Philipps, John Heard, Terry Crews, Maitland Ward, Anne Dudek
release US 23.Jun.04, UK 15.Oct.04
04/US 1h37

Who's that girl: Shawn and Marlon Wayans (above and, yes, below)

king faison munro
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The Wayans brothers are gifted actors-filmmakers, so why is it that they continually make lazy, unchallenging movies? Even in a mess like this you can see their talent oozing out of the seams, but it's so weakly constructed that it hurts.

Kevin and Marcus (Shawn and Marlon) are FBI agents who love donning outrageous disguises to break their cases ... but they're still losers. Assigned a lowly job escorting spoiled teen socialites (Ward and Dudek), they end up impersonating them on the New York scene--with the help of rather a lot of make-up, of course--facing off against the girls' sworn enemies (King and Daniel) and racing against two rival agents (Munro and Velez) to solve the case.

The basic premise is funny, in a silly movie sort of way: Two black male Feds pretend to be mini-skirted white girls. In this collagen-infused era, they might get away with the stiff-faced make-up. And the cast is charming and entertaining. So why does the story throw logic out the window simply to plunge our clumsy heroes into one chaotic bit of slapstick after another without trying to make sense at all? For example, it obviously takes hours to apply these all-body disguises, yet the script requires them to make frequent instantaneous transformations. Duh! And it's simply not funny enough for us to suspend our disbelief.

The army of writers were clearly using Some Like It Hot as a blueprint, so even when Kevin is a man on the prowl, he's pretending to be someone else. But the script isn't clever enough to sustain even this, relying on far too many cheap gags. And for a film about racial and gender issues, there's both no observational humour and far too much racist/sexist stereotyping. But the filmmakers obviously didn't worry about these things. They just wanted to make a bit of stupid fluff. But truly entertaining fluff requires a lot more effort than this. And we know the Wayans brothers have it in them to do much better.

cert 12 themes, language, innuendo 28.Sep.04

R E A D E R   R E V I E W S
send your review to Shadows... White Chicks Danni, London: 5/5 "This movie was pure fun and fitness! The Wayans brothers just kept me laughing, and what's not to love when you have gorgeous Marlon on screen!" (11.Oct.04)
2004 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall