Undercover Brother (Eddie Griffin) is a black dude recruited by the 1970s B.R.O.T.H.E.R.H.O.O.D. to assist this Good Guy organisation in exposing a sinister underground movement in possession of a new psycho-hallucegenic drug that will reduce the entire population to mindless zombies. Together with his sassy partner Sistah Girl (Aunjanue Ellis), Undercover Brother comes to the attention of the evil Mr Feather (Chris Kattan), who calls in the seductive Penelope Snow (Denise Richards) to do what she does best.†
Review by Louise Keller:
A funky blaxploitation spoof with action, laughs and sheer hip stupidity, Undercover Brother is the kind of escapism you need when youíre ready for a dose of nonsense. Itís just one big blast of fun, with a capital B for Blacksploitation. You donít need to think, but can tune out and let your endorphins do the work. The humour is a mix of slapstick, spoof and one-liners with plenty of throwaways that are a mix of clever and stupid. I rather like the computer email Youíve Got mail equivalent in Youíve Got Soul, GFC (the Generalís Fried Chicken) and the never-ending hair jokes are wild. To begin with Eddie Griffinís afro beehive is the butt of many jokes. After all, Ďyou mess with the Ďfro Ė then you gotta goí and Ďonce you go black, you donít go backí are the type of profundities to expect. Brotherhood headquarters is a kinda Get Smart centre, where while the gadgets may originate from Bond, they are more like the bits and bobs Maxwell Smart would use. And weíre talking about shoes that offer more than phonesÖ Griffin is wildly lovable as Undercover Brother and Aunjanue Ellis is a spicy, feisty combination as Sistah Girl. Denise Richards amazes with an abundance of hair, teeth and curves: she is the white She-devil, and what a bewitching figure she cuts! The scene when the two girls get their claws into each other and start ripping each otherís clothes off, is really very funny. Chris Kattan is suitably over-the-top as the boo-hiss villain Mr Feather, who has the job of keeping the White House white and the audience off-side. Aimed at a hip young market, Undercover Brotherís antics are choreographed to a cool, toe-tapping soundtrack. Donít be in too much of a hurry to rush away at the end, the additional scenes inter-cut through the end credits are more fun thatís worth waiting for.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Fee Fye Fo Fum, it wants to be hip but itís a bit Ho Hum. Heavy on the 70s look and feel, it is a nice book-end for the Austin Powers movie released in September 2002; this is the Afro-American version, with UBís funk replacing Austinís mojo. And there are indeed some funky and funny scenes, as well as a few good lines. But they and the energy notwithstanding, Undercover Brother isnít as SOLID as the dudeís number plate on the Cadillac. His mission is to bring back funk, but the process is mired by a dreary plot that is neither one thing or the other: itís neither so cleverly spaced out as to be in the Galaxy Quest class, nor so hilarious as to be surreal funky Ė which is what it tries to be. Although it tries hard, UB doesnít quite register on the funk meter.
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SOUNDTRACK REVIEW by Brad Green
UNDERCOVER BROTHER (M)
CAST: Eddie Griffin, Chris Kattan, Denise Richards, David Chappelle, Aunjanue Ellis, Neil Patrick Harris, Chi McBride, Jack Noseworthy, Gary Anthony Williams, Billy Dee Williams.
PRODUCER: Michael Jenkinson, Damon Lee,
DIRECTOR: Malcolm D. Lee
SCRIPT: John Ridley, Michael McCullers (John Ridley, story)
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Tom Priestley Jr
EDITOR: William Kerr
MUSIC: Stanley Clarke
PRODUCTION DESIGN: William Elliott
RUNNING TIME: 86 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: UIP
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: February 13, 2003
RIVERSIDE SNEAK PEEK PREMIERES
A program of premiere screenings of new movies prior to their commercial release
on 4 consecutive Tuesdays - March 10, 17, 24, 31, 2015 - at Riverside Theatre,
Curated & presented by Andrew L. Urban, discussion to
follow with special guests. Briefing notes provided.