Popkorn Junkie

Movie review for the film Undercover Brother starring Eddie Griffin, Chris Kattan, Aunjanue Ellis, Denise Richards, and David Chappelle
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Undercover Brother Movie Poster
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Note: This film has a PG-13 rating.

Junkie Rating:

This film received 3 pops out of 4 pops.This film received 3 pops out of 4 pops.This film received 3 pops out of 4 pops.This film received 3 pops out of 4 pops.

 

Cast and Credits

Malcolm D. Lee (Director)
Eddie Griffin (Anton Jackson) 
Chris Kattan (Mr. Feather) 
Aunjanue Ellis (Sistah Girl) 
Denise Richards (Penelope Snow) 
David Chappelle (Conspiracy Brother) 

Visit the official Life or Undercover Brother website

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Buy Undercover Brother on DVD
Buy Undercover Brother on DVD
 
The original motion picture sound track
Buy Undercover Brother soundtrack

 

 

 
      After viewing the first trailer for this film, I instantly fell under the impression that it was just going to be another mindless comedy, kind of an African-American take on the "Austin Powers" franchise.  I mean--c'mon--we all know Eddie Griffin is pretty funny when he wants to be, but he always seems to take roles in films that offer little more than the occasional giggle and an ample amount of overacting (case in point, "Double Take"...yuck).  "Undercover Brother", however, was pretty damn funny and I enjoyed it considerably more than I thought I would.
 
      Eddie Griffin is the Undercover Brother, who works for an organization known as the B.R.O.T.H.E.R.H.O.O.D., who must stop the evil Mr. Feather (Chris Kattan).  Guess what?  The plot doesn't get much more complicated that that.  Guess what?  We don't care.  Eddie Griffin is hilarious and perfect as Undercover Brother, soaking every ounce of energy and excitement he can muster into the performance.  The supporting cast is excellent also, with Chi McBride (from "Boston Public", my absolute favorite show in the world), Denise Richards, and, yes, Billy Dee Williams.
 
      The most enjoyable elements of this film are when it pokes fun at the old blaxploitation films that use to get cranked out every other week in the sixties and seventies.  This film kind of reminded me of the Keenan Ivory Wayan's blaxploitation spoof "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka", though it was slightly funnier than "Undercover Brother", but not by much.  The music is one of the funniest characters in the film, as it takes on a life of it's own.  Everything is orchestrated perfectly to give the feel of a blaxploitation film, and I was extremely surprised that it succeeded as well as it did.
 
      Directed by Malcolm D. Lee (I can only assume he is related to Spike Lee), "Undercover Brother" finally breaks out of the bondage applied by other pointless comedies of late, such as "The New Guy" and "Slackers".  It is fresh, smarmy, witty, and will certainly be underrated just because of it's genre.  People have been paying eight bucks to see crap like "Enough", when they should have been saving that dough for "Undercover Brother", one of the funniest films of the year, and a wonderful addition to the 'spoof' genre.  I still, however, think the film would have been better with Leslie Nielsen as Mr. Feather.  He's just so damn funny.  Anyhoo, this is a really funny picture and, though it is not perfect (few comedies are), it delivers on many levels.


     --
Billy Ray ( 3 out of 4 pops )

 

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Other Junkie's opinions.....

      James ( 3 1/2 out of 4 pops )

     I knew this film was gonna be special when I first got in the theater. How? I love it when a movie attracts a complete mixture of people. I don't know how many times I saw a movie where I was the only white person or there were only one or two black people. This was not the case here. And I think it's always nice when the racial barrier is broken down and everybody laughs at the same joke, for the same reason. On the surface, this movie looks like another dumb comedy, but it's not. It has a lot to say, and uses witty humor to make it's social commentary. But it does not resort to gross out humor, and thank God for that. No, this movie is smart, witty, and downright hilarious. And if people think it's reverse racist, then they haven't seen it. All races are fair game here. The visual gags, exaggerated fight scenes and music, the jokes about black celebs selling out, and the fried chicken, added to all the hilarity. Yep, I did just say fried chicken and hilarity in the same sentence. I almost keeled over in laughter when...ah I don't think so. Go see the movie. You'll be able to finish the sentence then. Again, this movie got laughs (on the same jokes) from everybody in the theater, and that's always a great thing in my book. I hope you see this, and I hope I didn't spoil anything for you

      Matt ( 2 out of 4 pops )

     Now, I went to see this movie with a group of friends and they were all, along with the majority of young people in the theater, laughing their heads off. So I probably enjoyed it more than I would’ve if I were to sit alone at home and watch it on video. But I still found it only average, and if that uproar of laughter wasn’t so contagious, I’d probably get only a few chuckles. It seems like every time a comedy doesn’t contain a penis or bodily function joke in every scene, it’s appraised by virtually everyone. There are only a few crude jokes in this film, but most of it depended on heavy-handed racial stereotypes. Not that I took this movie seriously, like it was supposed to deliver some uplifting message. It’s just when I hear white guy Neil Patrick Harris walking into a room full of black people and saying, “It looks like a Source Award in here,” the humor seems more written than natural. And whoever made up the stereotype that only white people eat mayonnaise? And turkey sandwiches? Every joke must be based on a certain element of truth, and there’s no truth to that. Some of the gags are incredibly cheap and predictable. In one scene, Eddie Griffin is fighting this guy and they shoot him from the waist up as sound f/x make him sound like he’s snapping his neck with his foot. When we look down, we find out he’s actually crushing a bag of Lay’s potato chips. I couldn’t believe the audience got such a kick out of that! And there are some gags that are just plain pointless—like Neil Patrick Harris ripping out people’s hearts and intestines. On the bright side, this is the second movie to prove that Chris Kattan should stick to supporting roles. Just like in “Monkeybone” he has some of the funniest scenes in the movie. He’s hysterically funny as long as he isn’t taking lead roles like in “Corky Romano”.  As for Denise Richards—she’s hot, she wears tight clothing and she has a homo-erotic scene involving her getting soaking wet. ‘Nuff said. I think Eddie Griffin is a decent comic, but seeing Dave Chapelle steal the spotlight in a smaller role, I wish Dave could’ve been the star. His manic energy would’ve fared better. And I liked the cool 70’s soundtrack—it kept my head bobbing. “Undercover Brother” is worthy of a few cheap laughs; it just needs a maximum dose of wit.