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*** Official "UNDERCOVER BROTHER" Review Thread (1 Viewer)

Robert Crawford

Dec 9, 1998
Real Name
This thread is now the Official Review Thread for "Undercover Brother". Please post all HTF member reviews in this thread.
Any other comments, links to other reviews, or discussion items will be deleted from this thread without warning!
If you need to discuss those type of issues then I have designated an Official Discussion Thread.

Patrick Sun

Senior HTF Member
Jun 30, 1999
It's a bit slow at the beginning, but it finds its stride, and makes the paper-thin plot a vehicle to play on all of the racial stereotypes in a very funny way. I was laughing hard towards the end of the film, and a lot of funny bits are not in the trailers! Yay!

I give it 3 stars, or a grade of B for "Brotherhood".


Senior HTF Member
Feb 4, 2002
Los Angeles
Real Name
Quentin H
Solid. :)
Yes, it's pretty funny. There are some moments that are truly riotous. But, this film could have and should have been funnier and more clever.
Griffin is a real talent and he shows it, eating up every second he's on screen. And, of course, Richards is a first class babe (and Sistah Girl is fine as well). :D
I'd give it a "B", but see it before Goldmember which will most likely be much funnier.

Chuck Mayer

Senior HTF Member
Aug 6, 2001
Northern Virginia
Real Name
Chuck Mayer
I'll keep it short and sweet, like the film. It was a pretty funny romp. The only scenes I did not enjoy were Kattan's, but that might just be a reaction to him. The leads were funny. The jokes were sharp, but not insulting or biting. Believe it or not, a very good-natured film. It wasn't brilliant, but it was funny. Good laughs.

Recommended as a change of pace for the summer.

Take care,

Scott Weinberg

Senior HTF Member
Oct 3, 2000
Undercover Brother :star::star::star:1/2 (out of 5)
It's never fair to dismiss a film before it's advertised and released, but that's almost what I did with Undercover Brother. Following a year-and-a-half of painful and insulting comedies about black people (avoid How High and Snow Dogs as if they were made of phlegm), I was a bit leery about this one. But I'm pleasantly surprised to announce that Undercover Brother can now join the ranks of two other silly heroes that I also predicted would suck: Ace Ventura and Austin Powers. Once again, I'm glad to be proven wrong.
Undercover Brother has been classified by critics infintely more clever than myself as "Austin Powers meets Shaft". I point this out because A) it's an accurate assessment and B) I love stealing the thoughts of those more intelligent (and highly-paid) than myself. Simply put, Undercover Brother is a colorful and generally quite entertaining little farce, one that benefits greatly from a strong cast and a screenplay that deftly wanders between painfully silly and extremely clever.
Inspired by a funny series of animated Internet films, Undercover Brother tells the tale of Anton Jackson, a secret agent who acts as an inner-city Robin Hood...with a massive afro. After sabotaging a local bank to protect his neighborhood from foreclosure, Undercover Brother catches the eye of a covert agency called The B.R.O.T.H.E.R.H.O.O.D. Saddled with a colorful crew of sidekicks, including Conspiracy Brother and Sistah Girl, Jackson sets out to thwart the evil plans of an evil mastermind and the manic Mr. Feather.
Undercover Brother is at its best when skewering the age-old African-American stereotypes. From a less confident director, several of these gags could have ended up simplistic or even offensive, but Malcolm Lee (The Best Man) presents the film in such technicolor goofiness that it's impossible to take seriously. Screenwriter John Ridley (creator of the original Internet series) sets his sights on the cliches we're all familiar with, and does it with a fresh sense of humor. (When a black presidential candidate announces that he'd rather open a chain of fried chicken stands, it works because the film is satirizing the stereotype itself, not the character.)
Much like the underrated comedies Hollywood Shuffle, I'm Gonna Git You Sucka!, and Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood, Undercover Brother is at its best when poking fun at cliche and blaxpoitation movies like Superfly and Dolemite. But there's also more than enough sophomoric silliness in between the satire to please fans of cheery slapstick. Gloriuously absent is anything resembling a semen joke or exploding toilet, but things get silly enough to appease the 13-year-old in all of us.
If Undercover Brother suffers from any glaring flaws, it's a third act that almost visibly runs out of steam, and a leading man who gets virtually none of the film's big laughs. Although his performance as Jackson is considerably more entertaining than his work in Double Take and The New Guy, he's hardly leading man material. Logically, that means that Griffin's supporting cast is working overtime.
Denise Richards (Starship Troopers) is surpisingly charming as the duplicitous Penelope Snow. (Richards needs to stay in the light-comedy/self-mocking mode, or she's destined for a career of straight-to-video productions.) Aunjanue Ellis (Men of Honor) holds more than one scene together as long-suffering Sistah Girl, and Neil Patrick Harris (TV's Doogie Howser) steals three or four bits as the B.R.O.T.H.E.R.H.O.O.D.'s token white intern. Saturday Night Live's Chris Kattan is obnoxiously amusing as the evil Mr. Feather (although not nearly as funny as he can be), Chi McBride (Gone in 60 Seconds) gets a few nice bits as The Chief, and Dave Chappelle (Con Air) is drop-dead hilarious as Conspiracy Brother. Call me nuts, but if Chappelle and Griffin had switched roles, the film would have been twice as funny.
But why carp about minor issues when Undercover Brother is five times funnier than it could have been? Kudos to the producers who allowed Ridley to remain true to his original series, and director Lee for achieving an impressive balance of well-executed slapstick and insightful (albeit silly) social commentary.
A few more effective satires like this one, and moviegoers may one day be spared from low-minded demographic-pandering cinematic garbage like The Wash and Juwanna Mann.

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