by Mike Miliard
This one used up all three of 'em in the first few minutes. Friday
co-writer D.J. Pooh's directorial debut, ostensibly designed to make light
of California's "three-strikes" mandatory minimum-sentencing laws and their
effect on the black community, is about as much fun as a 25-year sentence.
Do you think a 90-minute screed of expletives, n-words, and crude racial
stereotypes is funny? Did you know all black guys drink 40s, smoke a lot of
dope, and like a nice round ass? It's funny to see a black guy being chased by
the cops down an LA freeway, right? (Especially when he's in a huge SUV being
driven by his friend and it's all being televised via overhead helicopters --
sound familiar?) So now Martin Luther King Jr.'s "free at last" speech refers
to getting out of jail, and it seems especially eloquent following a brilliant
comic soliloquy about how much pussy our young protagonist Rob (Brian Hooks)
will be getting once he's sprung. Somehow I don't think this is the dream the
good doctor had in mind.
It doesn't have to be this way. Other comedies have been populated with such
base caricatures, but in those films (Don't Be a Menace to South
Central . . . , Fear of a Black Hat) they were
intentional and satiric. Here the drunken, flatulent uncles and dope-smokin'
cops don't seem so ironic. Fortunately, the audience still is; at the
opening-day screening I attended, its comments were a hell of a lot funnier
than the film.
| home page |
what's new |
about the phoenix |
Copyright © 2000 The Phoenix Media/Communications Group. All rights reserved.