Directed by Malcolm D. Lee.
Written by John Ridley and Michael McCullers. Based on an
Internet series by Ridley.
Starring Eddie Griffin, Aunjanue Ellis, Denise Richards and Dave
Release Year: 2002
Review Date: 6/10/02
Let it be known—“Undercover Brother” does
NOT use all of its good jokes in the trailer.
The funniest preview I think I have ever
seen turns into the best pure comedy of the year. Eddie Griffin,
star of the atrocious
“Double Take” from last year, plays Undercover
Brother, a rogue do-gooder that has a huge Afro and an even bigger
belt buckle. When agents from the all-black spy agency BROTHERHOOD
run into UB while in action, they recruit him for a mission to take
down The Man, a white guy (I know, shocking) that has brainwashed a
black presidential candidate (Billy Dee Williams), into not running
for office and instead starting a fried chicken joint.
“Undercover Brother” has a so-so first 30
minutes, with a lot of setup and some way-over-the-top black
...those last 60 minutes...are FUCKING
Basically, once UB goes undercover on the
mission, the movie is straight Opening Weekend. Among the
I can’t think of the last time a soundtrack
was so perfect for a film. If it’s on CD, you need it. Period.
--Neil Patrick Harris
In a world where great actors say comedy is
the hardest medium and the Academy never rewards it, the former
“Doogie Howser, MD” should be nominated for his work in “Undercover
Brother.” Seriously, he is great here, and I laughed at his every
line. And, when he wails “Daddy!”...
--The funny scenes from the trailer are
still funny in the movie
When the guys in the BROTHERHOOD office ask
UB what it was like to sleep with white temptress Penelope Snow
(Denise Richards), listen for what The Chief (Chi McBride, “Boston
Public”) says...wow! And, that catfight/shower scene between
Richards and UB’s love interest (Aunjanue Ellis) is still just as
funny in its entirety.
Comedian Chappelle, who plays Conspiracy
Brother in the film, is funny as hell, and is essentially doing an
extension of his famous stand-up act. Plus, he is as racist as any
character in PG-13 film history has ever been. Racism in comedies:
--Funny bonus scenes
You have to stay until the very end of the
film’s credits, but there is some good stuff in there if you are
Hey, you’ve got to come in with an open
mind, but “Undercover Brother” is some funny stuff. And, if you
like blaxploitation films or kung-fu films or black culture in
general, you’ll get even more out of this film’s many quick-hit
Rating: $9.00 Show
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard