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2004 Roundup
2005 Roundup
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"White Chicks"

Directed by Keenan Ivory Wayans.
Written by Keenan Ivory Wayans, Shawn Wayans, Marlon Wayans, Andy McElfresh, Michael Anthony Snowden and Xavier Cook.
Starring Shawn Wayans, Marlon Wayans, Jaime King and Frankie Faison.
Release Year:  2004
Review Date:  6/30/04

Folks--

If you love Keenan Ivory Wayans, director of the funniest film ever made, "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka", then you sometimes kid yourself and think that he'll make something nearly as funny in his other works.  Save for "Scary Movie", it hasn't happened, but that didn't stop me from going to see "White Chicks", bad trailer and all.

You know the plot:  two FBI agents, brothers Kevin (Shawn Wayans) and Marcus (Marlon Wayans), are assigned to babysit the daughters of some rich guy for a weekend in the Hamptons.  After a car accident, the girls are in no shape to make an appearance up in the hills, so the brothers--who are black--disguise themselves as the white sisters to try and foil kidnappers that are planning to snatch the girls once they arrive at their destination.  But, for a while, the guys have to play the part of the girls so that no one will suspect anything going on, which is the majority of the film/suffering on behalf of many in the audience.

Now, I went with a white chick to see "White Chicks" to get the, well, white chick perspective, so Anne "Flirt" Sawkiw was game and we caught a show last night at the local multiplex.  I hadn't seen a flick with Anne before, and so she was right to warn me before the film started:

"Just so you know, I talk all the time during movies.  I hope you don't mind?"

This actually made "White Chicks" funnier, because Anne was absolutely howling many times during this film.  In fact, if Anne hadn't been with me, I probably would have left the theater after about 15 minutes.

That's because every scene before the brothers get dipped in white chocolate totally fucking blows.  Completely unfunny.  A badly-filmed, illogical action scene.  Scenes that don't work featuring stereotyped Indian convenience store workers.  The scene where we meet the two white girls, and man, are they annoying.  Nothing works, and you can feel the film reaching all over the place...but, Anne was laughing, so I couldn't make this the first film I have ever walked out of.  Then, the film does get reasonably funny in VERY sporadic bursts; Marlon Wayans, the only real actor in this thing in the first place (real talent, especially in "Requiem for a Dream" and "The Ladykillers") carries the film through a number of bad scenes; his transformed white character seems to have the funnier lines, and in a wrong, nasty sequence at a dinner table, I was completely disgusted and laughing my ass off all at the same time.

The problems of "White Chicks" well outweigh the positives, though.  I didn't buy for a second that anyone would look at the brothers and believe that, even with their costumes and makeup, they even remotely resembled the two real white girls; in fact, I was kind of freaked out whenever the two brothers were in costume on screen.  This is made worse during a scene where spectators are visibly confused as to who's really who, a fashion show near the end of the film...I was sitting there, thinking, "This is dogshit!" each time someone in the audience would look at one of the brothers, then look at the "identical twin" white girl and look lost.  Come on!

As strange as they look in "whiteface", the stranger thing is that both the written jokes and the physical humor fall flat on their faces.  There were stretches of at least five minutes--a couple of times!!--where no one in the theater laughed.  This is bad for a comedy, right?  And, there were some of those clumsy life lessons thrown in there, like when I almost gagged as some of the girls talked about how they wished that men would see through their outer beings and try to understand the inner self of today's woman.  Blah.  Or, when I had to sit there and wonder what it was about Marcus' wife that he loved so much...argh.  And, the main plot behind what is driving the kidnappers was straight dogshit, too.

When I first left the theater, I was on the fence between the Hard Vice and Rental ratings, but even I will say that I laughed enough times to not feel totally cheated.  Plus, the guy at the ticket booth gave us a discount...maybe he knew something that I didn't, eh?  And, there's a great scene featuring a black pro basketball player singing one of the whitest songs on record that will make you cry in your seat, it's so damned funny.  I guess that everything has a silver lining...

Rating:  Rental

 

Comments?  Drop me a line at justin@bellviewmovies.com.

 

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 "Office Space"). 

"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 half stars." 

"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 Vice"-rated movies.)

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The "fine print":
All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/bellviewmovies.com except where noted
1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09