Warner Bros./Warner Home Video .
R4 . COLOR . 83 mins .
M15+ . PAL
I have to ask that well worn question one more time. How does crap like this get made?
"I got my d*ck stuck in the popcorn! THE SALT! AAAARGH! THE SALT!"
Are the pointy headed powers-that-be in La-La Land on permanent vacation from reality? Are the janitors in charge of greenlighting any project that is presented to them? How to explain the dearth of quality entertainment at the cinemas, with all eyes focused either on turgidly dull Ďimportantí films of literary pedigree or lame arsed comedies featuring semi-popular television stars and talent-free black comedians (yes, Iím talking to you, Martin Lawrence). Good simple entertainment, whether it be a comedy that is actually humourous, drama that is compelling or a blockbuster that isnít insulting, is dead or at least dying a slow painful death.
"Say Barbra Streisand sucked in What's Up, Doc? or you one dead cracka!"
Yet another by-product of siphoning off the scum at the bottom of the ideas barrel is this overcooked and over-tried concept that looks like the kind of cookie-cutter crap to have had its inception as a three minute skit on television if I didnít know any better. The wellspring of cinematic originality has sprung forth a Ďcomedyí of a white affluent teen, Brad (Jamie Kennedy), or B-Rad as heís known to his similarly deluded friends (an Arab who gets a rocket launcher for Christmas, a wannabe fat crack whore bling bling music video booty shakiní skank). B-Rad thinks he is a disadvantaged black gangbanger from the projects with the rhyming talent to be the new Eminem (like we need another one). His father (Ryan OíNeal really slumming it here), a politician concerned about the upcoming elections and what his embarrassment of a son will do to his falling popularity, agrees to let his aides deal with the issue thusly: hire some black, out of work actors (well spoken, educated and not a skerrick of ghetto life in them) to kidnap B-Rad, take him down to the nasty Ďhood and threaten to blow his whitey brains out if his poppa doesnít pay a ransom or, better yet, if he doesnít stop with the phoney black gangsta act.
Yes, itís that original. It can only work out two ways. He changes or he doesnít.
"..and in other news, here's my impression of Michael Caine eating a lemon.."
Why canít they just dispense with the plot all together and just have him go around doing a whole bunch of stupid stuff? Oh, sorry, thatís what he does. And it still isnít funny. B-Rad just isnít funny. Jamie Kennedy just isnít funny. This film, with the exception of a few chuckles, just isnít funny. Anthony Anderson and Taye Diggs, theyíre funny. The jokes, theyíre not funny. The time I saw an Indian woman walk into a closed supermarket glass door, that was funny. B-Radís accent, thatís not funny, Ryan OíNeal taking this role seriously, thatís funny. B-Radís friends, theyíre not funny. When my friends get drunk and suddenly realise theyíre losers, thatís funny. John Howard power walking, thatís funny. John Howard running the country, thatís not funny.
Can you see what Iím getting at? No? Neither can I.
And B-Rad, and Jamie Kennedy, for that matter, are not only not funny, but also incredibly annoying. Is that the point of his character? I doubt it. I believe they want him to be endearing to the viewer. Why watch a film, especially a comedy, when you canít stand the protagonist? I found him as endearing as spending a week on the shitter with a severe case of gastro. His street talk, bastardised from the already incomprehensible slang that it is, is just repetitively cringe-inducing, unless of course you happen to be one of those 16 year old little shitheads who dress and act like Ďgangstasí and carry knives because they think the pimply teen behind the counter at Hungry Jacks is gonna shank them and spit in their burger when they turn their back. We know you still ask your mummies and daddies for the money to buy those FUBU tops and Nike basketball boots, you piss-ant little private school miscreants. Do everyone a favour and get your feet off the seats when you use public transport, stop annoying customers at the local shopping centre and develop a taste in music that doesnít deify ex-cons and pimps. Idiots.
Now that I think about it, those little shits are probably the target audience for this film. There you go, if you happen to be one of the morons I just described above, go right ahead and watch this film. Youíll love it.
As for for everyone else, donít waste your time. Go and write a letter to an old friend or have a chat with your family or friends. Youíll probably have more laughs.
If you can tolerate the film for more than 30 seconds, then at least youíll be rewarded with a half decent vertically defiant 2.40:1, 16:9 enhanced, transfer taken from a clean print. Colours are typically bright and sumptuous when slumming it in the dumps of Malibu, greens nice and green, sky nice and blue and skin all health and tanned. Moving into the Ďhood, things get much more monotone, with a tilt towards greys to make it clear that youíre not in Malibu no moí, Toto.
Itís all generally without flaws worth bringing up, but if you look hard enough youíll find one of two spots of aliasing and edge enhancement if youíre the sort of dork who goes looking for that thing during your film nights. All things being equal, what with the film being an utter dud and me being a little pissed at yet another non-comedy comedy, I grudgingly give this a pass with flying colours.
And the same score will have to go to the DD 5.1 audio quality, which dips into the rap bag oí crap and brings forth a whole slather of bass driven thumpiní and bumpiní that you either love or hate. Me, I hate it. Listening to this music, whether itís a score or a few actual tracks from an angry young artist with something against the police and their hos, I find it akin to sticking bamboo under my toenails. It works here, some good cues placed well within the jokes, and the mix comfortable with the balance of dialogue, music and action effects. Nothing overly aggressive to make you jump outta your pimp costume mind you, just some nice solid delivery and good integration through the channels.
The two single sided review discs I have here hint that the actual release will probably be a double sided, single layered DVD, and seeing as this has probably been in the stores and on the shelves for a while now, youíve probably already figured this out and wanna know where the hell Iíve been? I been busy with life, okay? You want to know about the bonus gear or not?
If you do, then there are a few things, nothing too exciting, a commentary being the best of the lot if you want to listen to the director, writers and some actors waffle on about how good they thought the adherence to the culture and their message was. Huh? Did I miss something? Probably, seeing as how I couldnít have been stuffed paying too close attention to the commentary for more than five minutes at a time. Question: does anyone out there ever listen to a commentary for a film they donít like? I can see why you might, because you could still learn something regardless of whether the film was crap or not, but isnít it kind of like listening to someone you hate talk a whole lot of shit, say, like listening to your inept boss crap on about his management ability when he clearly has none? I donít know where Iím going with this, the thought just came to me right now and I typed it up, and Iím pretty sure it wont be edited out by me later on, and if I do, then youíll never know that Iíve written this anyway, so who cares? Certainly not I, my friend, certainly not I. A quick note here before I forget: Anthony Anderson and Taye Diggs are the only two who can hold their heads up proudly in this film. Without a doubt, their portrayal of two clean cut black actors pretending to be hard gangstas and then offering each other critiques on their performance is the only thing I laughed at in this film. Oh, and maybe one other time when B-Rad flashed back to the time he told his priest the theme of his Barmitzvah. Very funny moment. But there wasnít enough creativity like this to sustain the film.
Climbing back on the right tack once again, next bonus time waster, I mean bonus feature, is a whole mess oí deleted scenes. Visually these can look pretty crummy, and theyíre not that funny or interesting either, and you can listen to a commentary tack with each one, but the question I have to ask you is ďWhy? Are you really that hard up for something to do?Ē Move along to the theatrical trailer, which is cut together to make it look far better than it is, and revolving around his trademark ďDonít be hatiníĒ.
I wonít even mention the single page cast and crew listing. It would be a waste of time.
Even taking into account that the actual quality of the overall package for this DVD is reasonable, Malibuís Most Wanted is a stupid so-called comedy with not enough laughs to have the right to call itself a Ďcomedyí. Avoid it like gonorrhea, your funny bone will thank you for it. There are so many better comedies out there, I couldnít begin to list them here. Go to a store and pick up anything not starring Martin Lawrence and youíd be off to a good start.