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Undercover Brother (2002)

He’s all action

Directed by:

Malcolm D. Lee

Rating: 1/10

Running Time: 86 minutes

UK Certificate: 12A

On DVD

Country: United States

If this pile of mince from director Malcolm D. Lee is anything to go by, cousin Spike doesn’t have much to worry about. In fact, I like to think that, come Christmas, when the Lee family is having its annual get together, Spike mockingly pelts Malcolm with Brussels sprouts from across the dinner table. Spike gives us ‘Malcolm X’ and 25th Hour. Malky D. gives us ‘Undercover Brother’.

Possibly the most stereotype-reliant flick ever not to feature Martin Lawrence, this horrible anti-comedy stars the cripplingly unfunny Eddie Griffin as the ‘fro-haired secret agent of the title. Undercover Brother is recruited by the B.R.O.T.H.E.R.H.O.O.D. organisation (a nice touch might have been to tell us what the letters stand for, but the writers clearly couldn’t be bothered) to take on an international super-villain hell-bent on destroying the popularity of black culture.

The movie also features turns from Chris Kattan as a fruity henchman and Dave Chappelle as a conspiracy-obsessed bigot (hilarious, eh?), but most notable among the cast is Denise Richards, who’s portrayal of the “White She Devil” sees her finally find her level. At last. I was getting worried.

If you took ‘Austin Powers’, removed the comedy aspect and gave him a gigantic racial chip on his shoulder, this is roughly what you’d be left with. The sole extent of the humour in ‘Undercover Brother’ is restricted to repeatedly drawing attention to the fact that, yes, there are both black and white people in the world. And the only thing more monotonous than a one-joke film, is a one-joke film where that joke was never funny in the first place.

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It's Got: James Brown.

It Needs: To get rid of everybody else.

DVD Extras A choice of commentary from either Malcolm “Crappo” Lee or Eddie Griffin, an alternate ending, a ‘Making Of’ featurette (really, I have to know, how DO they manage to make films as rubbish as this?), deleted scenes & out-takes, a selection of the original animated shorts, a Snoop Dogg video, and some trailers. DVD Extras Rating: 7/10

Alternatives:

Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, Head of State

Summary

And it only gets that much because of the decent soundtrack.

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