Movie Reviews: Undercover Brother




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     Universal (1 hr. 23 min.)
     The B.R.O.T.H.E.R.H.O.O.D. sends its top agent to stop Operation Whitewash, a sinister plot headed by "The Man."
     Eddie Griffin, Aunjanue Ellis, Dave Chappelle, Denise Richards, Chris Kattan
Bottom Line:


Hilarious, witty and funny, Malcolm D. Lee’s action-comedy "Undercover Brother," based upon Urban Media's popular Web site Undercover Brother series, is a surprise hit of the summer.

You would think that any movie using an oversize afro as a running joke wouldn’t be funny. However, the scriptwriters cleverly pull it off by making a dumb comedy smart.

Lee gets the jump on the upcoming James Bond satire, "Austin Powers in Goldmember," as he lampoons the 1970s blaxploitation genre’s outrageous in-your-face clothes, funky music and hairstyles. Eddie Griffin, wearing matching, two-toned mustard-colored leather jacket, sporting a huge afro and pork chop sideburns, is called into action to fight for truth, justice and the African-American way. Griffin goes after the all-purpose blaxploitation villain, "The Man" who has sabotaged 1970s black expression over the years with Urkel, the nerdy kid from TV's "Family Matters," and the horrific Dennis Rodman wearing a wedding dress.

Aggressively juvenile, Lee pokes fun at everything from a Colin Powell-type figure opening a fried chicken chain, to white woman as "black man's Kryptonite." Lee’s comic and smart observations about the intermingling of black and white cultures drives the film as he tosses PC out the window. Not to be confused with his famous cousin, Lee never takes himself or the film too seriously, and it works.



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