Finally the impossible happened. The movie was definitely better than what the previews lead on. Having just come off the disappointing Star Wars Attack of the Yawns I was rather reluctant to go back to the theatre any time soon. I am glad that I did. The feature film “Undercover Brother” was refreshingly funny.
Having been a toddler during the explosion of the ‘blaxploitation’ era I have not had much experience with this type of film. I am familiar, however with such reprises as John Singleton’s “Shaft”, and Quentin Tarantino’s “Jackie Brown”. Through writer/directors such as these I do have an idea of what these films were about. However, nothing prepared me for the hilarity of “Undercover Brother”.
Malcolm D. Lee, director of “The Best Man” was able to take the words of John Ridley and Michael McCullers and bring them to life in an intelligent showing. Comedy is hard enough, but to take on the challenge of revamping an old style to today’s standards and make fun of the way things were done and the way things are is a very difficult orchestration.
Eddie Griffin plays the large afro donned fighter of all that is against ‘blackness’. A renegade of sorts that is recruited by the B.R.O.T.H.E.R.H.O.O.D., led by Chi McBride, the Chief of the B.R.O.T.H.E.R.H.O.O.D. The crew consist of Gary Anthony Williams - Smart Brother, David Chappelle – Conspiracy Brother and Aunjaune Ellis – Sista Girl. They have the task of convincing Undercover Brother to help them fight the evil dealings of ‘The Man’. Yes, there is one man behind the entire dastardly goings on against the blackness. The Man is not without an evil cohort. Chris Kattan of SNL does a great characterization of ‘Mr. Feather’. I missed the explanation of why he is called Mr. Feather, but his comedic goings on had me bellowing with laughter. Yeah, I was one of those people that you talk about.
Now the movie was not perfect. The love triangle between Undercover Brother, Sista Girl and the White She Devil had it’s merits. However, I do not believe in real life there is any way a strong willed, sure of her blackness, black queen would have put up with any brother that flipped like Undercover Brother did. I guess you will have to decide for yourself.
All in all if you are in the mood for some campy fun, just want to be entertained without being challenged mentally and would like to see some appearances of a couple of blast from the past from the likes of James Brown and Billy Dee Williams then Undercover Brother is just the comic relief that you need.
Great date flick, some material may not be suitable for the young ones but nothing is too risqué. And that’s my word for what’s on the screen.
Printed in Volume 1 Issue 11