Yes, it's very, very silly, and most of the film is so stupid that it's actually painful to watch. But just when you start to worry about your sanity, a moment of absolute genius flits across the screen--a throwaway line, a witty sight gag, an astute bit of satire, another inspired piece of music. These things are so smart and snappy that it makes you wonder why the rest of the film feels like mush, held together with a plot so lame that even the Zucker brothers would have passed on it. The cast is fine--physical and energetic, with perfect timing ... although some of the actors play it much hammier than others (Griffin is the prime offender here). The film works best when it's playing with stereotypes, poking fun at pop culture icons or hilariously highlighting prejudices. But when it resorts to broad and zany comedy, it falls flat.
dir Malcolm D Lee|
scr John Ridley, Michael McCullers
with Eddie Griffin, Denise Richards, Chris Kattan, Aunjanue Ellis, Dave Chappelle, Gary Anthony Williams, Chi McBride, Neil Patrick Harris, Jack Noseworthy, Robert Trumbull, Billy Dee Williams, James Brown
release US 31.May.02; UK Feb.03
Mod squad. Penelope, Sistah Girl and Undercover Brother seem to be having a bad hair decade (Richards, Ellis, Griffin).
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