Malibu's Most Wanted

"Weak"

Malibu's Most Wanted Review


There are exactly two funny performances in "Malibu's Most Wanted" -- a one-joke comedy about an over-privileged white-boy wannabe rapper -- and neither of them are by top-liner and co-writer Jamie Kennedy.

Expanding on a two-bit sketch character from his self-titled WB network variety show, Kennedy plays B-Rad G (nee Brad Gluckman), a pathetic poser "from the 'Bu," where "everybody's strapped with a nine" (nine-iron, that is) and "most of the time the police won't even come through" (because the town is pretty much crime-free).

Being from a straight-laced political family, Brad has become such an embarrassment to his father's gubernatorial campaign that daddy (Ryan O'Neal) hires two Juilliard theater graduates to play gangstaz, kidnap the brat and drop him in Compton to scare the imaginary "ghetto" out of him.

Almost all the movie's laughs come courtesy of Anthony Anderson ("Kangaroo Jack") and Taye Diggs ("Brown Sugar"), who relish playing these classically trained and totally sissified actors that are more concerned with finding the essence of their gang-banger characters than they are with completing their mission. "This will be the ultimate acting challenge," they exclaim as they try on bling-bling jewelry, practice calling each other "bi-atch," and adopt the names "Tre" and "Bloodbath."

When these two are on screen, Kennedy is more than just white -- he's invisible.

A decade too old (at age 33) and 15 pounds too paunchy around the middle to be credible as a college kid who still lives at home, Kennedy's larger problem is that despite his character's tastelessly gaudy track suits and intentionally all-slang dialogue, he simply has no screen presence.

Upstaged even by bit players in his beach-town posse, he mugs furiously for the camera to no avail. He spoofs Eminem in an "8 Mile"-inspired rap battle, and only gets a laugh by showing some butt crack when B-Rad tries to be cool by wearing his pants too low.

When Kennedy really should be going for maximum mockery -- in romantic scenes with Regina Hall ("Scary Movie," "Paid In Full") -- suddenly we're supposed to take B-Rad relatively seriously. Apparently the hero must get the girl, even if there's nothing whatsoever she'd find attractive about the pasty white wannabe.

Hall's character really is from the 'hood, has confidence and pride, and has pulled herself up by her bootstraps. Yet there she is, cooing to Kennedy that "I respect you for getting up there" after his pathetic rhymes get him booed off the rap battle stage and thrown in a dumpster.

Director John Whitesell ("See Spot Run") squeezes a genuinely funny 10 minutes out of B-Rad realizing that Tre and Bloodbath are fakes -- just as he gets kidnapped for real by authentic street toughs. Thinking it's all part of the act, he stops quivering and quaking in his Nikes long enough to play the bad-ass during a drive-by. It's only when he's initiated into their gang for standing up to the gunfire that it hits him these hoodlums aren't playin'.

But when the gang leader (Damien Dante Wayans), the dad's campaign manager (Blair Underwood) and even B-Rad's oil-rich immigrant buddy Hadji (Kal Penn) -- nicknamed "The Beast from the Middle-East" within their country club "crew" -- garner more giggles than Kennedy, it becomes clear that this already short-on-laughs comedy has a terminal case of miscasting.

Since Kennedy and two of his TV show cohorts rewrote the original script (by stand-up comedian Nick Swardson), there was never any chance of someone with more talent or charisma getting the lead role. So it seems "Malibu's Most Wanted" was doomed as soon as Kennedy got his hands on it -- if not before.



Malibu's Most Wanted

Facts and Figures

Run time: 86 mins

In Theaters: Friday 18th April 2003

Box Office USA: $34.3M

Distributed by: Warner Bros.

Production compaines: Karz Entertainment, Big Ticket Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 31%
Fresh: 29 Rotten: 64

IMDB: 5.0 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: John Whitesel

Starring: as B-Rad, as Sean, as PJ, as Shondra, as Tom Gibbsons, as Tec, Ryan O'Neal as Bill Gluckman, as Bess Gluckman, as Dr. Feldman, as Hadji Amerislani, as Mocha, Keili Lefkovitz as Monster, as Brett, J.P. Manoux as Gary, as Jen

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

Keanu Reeves picks up his supremely efficient hitman immediately where the 2015 original left him:...

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Advertisement
Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Sing Movie Review

Sing Movie Review

The quality of the animation in this musical comedy may not be up to Pixar...

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.