White Chicks Movie Review

No one does sick bathroom slapstick better than the Wayans brothers - their work on Scary Movie and Scary Movie 2 proves that. They curiously didn't return for the third movie in that franchise. Maybe they realized (or someone did for them) that their brand of humor had run its useful course and it was time to move on. White Chicks is the product of their departure. Unfortunately, it's far from original, or entertaining - in fact, it takes the Wayans' brand of gross-out humor to a whole new low.

Two FBI agents, Marcus (Marlon Wayans) and Kevin Copeland (Shawn Wayans) have a knack for screwing up their assignments. Their supervisor (Frankie Faison) is pissed, and the pair have become the joke of the department. After blowing their cover on their last assignment, Marcus and Kevin are given "one final" opportunity to prove themselves. They're assigned to escort high profile, cruise ship heiresses Brittany and Tiffany Wilson (think Paris and Nicky Hilton) to a party in the Hamptons without getting kidnapped. I guess shipboard credits and shore excursions are hot commodities for East Coast socialites.

After picking up the women, Marcus and Kevin wreck their vehicle, leaving Brittany and Tiffany with minor scrapes that they wouldn't be caught dead with in the Hamptons. Staring unemployment in the eye, a desperate Marcus and Kevin decide to ditch the girls at a New York hotel, and solve the kidnapping plot by impersonating the twins in the Hamptons. With the help of some high-tech computer programs and make-up artists, Marcus and Kevin are cosmetically re-made from African American males to white, blonde-haired valley girls.

Like Connie and Carla, in which two women remake themselves as male cross dressers, Chicks is only remotely convincing if you check all reality at the theater door. Their low-grade, B-movie quality prosthetics are able to fool everyone, including the twins' closest friends (Busy Philipps, Jennifer Carpenter, and Jessica Cauffiel) and their most revered enemies (Jaime King and Brittany Daniel). Marcus and Kevin attend slumber parties, go to the beach, and model women's clothing without anyone second-guessing their identities. Apparently, everyone in the Hamptons needs an eye exam.

Director Keenan Ivory Wayans and a lengthy list of writers have drafted a movie built on a foundation of the same cheap insults and childish potty humor we've seen countless times before. Appropriately enough, many of these gags take place in a bathroom! Marcus is lactose intolerant; needless to say he has horrible gas throughout the movie. As expected, this point is mercilessly exploited. No subject is safe from the juvenile absurdity - stupid mother jokes and fat chick insults run rampant.

Wayans alters the meager storyline at will to accommodate Marcus and Kevin's disgusting antics. What starts out as a kidnapping caper later becomes an embezzlement scheme. Wayans tries to address themes of self-esteem and morality. All efforts fail miserably. Chicks' one main gag stretches way beyond its usefulness. Is this the best six writers can do?

At least the Scary Movie franchise had the parodies going for it; White Chicks has nothing.

The Unrated Edition DVD is, sadly, still nearly two hours of this stuff -- presumably with even more farting than in the original. If you're looking for insight into this mess, you might check out the Wayans brothers commentary or one of a handful of making-of extras.


White Chicks Rating

" Unbearable "

Rating: PG-13, 2004


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