UNDERCOVER BROTHER: DVD
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-hallucinogenic 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
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 you’re ready for a dose of nonsense. It’s just one big blast of fun, with a capital B for Blacksploitation. You don’t 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 You’ve Got mail equivalent in You’ve Got Soul, GFC (the General’s Fried Chicken) and the never-ending hair jokes are wild. To begin with Eddie Griffin’s afro beehive is the butt of many jokes. After all, ‘you mess with the ‘fro – then you gotta go’ and ‘once you go black, you don’t go back’ 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 we’re talking about shoes that offer more than phones… 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 other’s 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 Brother’s antics are choreographed to a cool, toe-tapping soundtrack. Don’t 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 that’s worth waiting for.
The DVD is packed solid with funky features. Comedy is all about sound effects, says director Malcolm D. Lee in one of the two commentaries, while Eddie Griffin is absolutely hilarious. He has such a laid back style of humour – he talks about how his face was itching behind the mask he wears, but then admits that it’s all CGI. Everybody loves the outtakes, and in the alternate ending (as well as the deleted scenes) Malcolm D. Lee gives his comments. The animated shorts by Urban Entertainment are a series of animated films that feature the character of Undercover Brother, and inspired the making of the film. Plus there are some trailers and an Undercover Funk music video, which perfectly captures the mood of the film. I love the way Snoop Dogg descends from out of the sky into Undercover Brother’s convertible and pops the cd in the player. Cool.
Published July 10, 2003
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UNDERCOVER BROTHER: DVD (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.
DIRECTOR: Malcolm D. Lee
SCRIPT: John Ridley, Michael McCullers (John Ridley, story)
RUNNING TIME: 86 minutes
PRESENTATION: 16 X 9 widescreen presentation
SPECIAL FEATURES: Commentary with Director Malcolm D Lee; Commentary with Eddie Griffin; Behind the scenes feature; alternate ending with director's comments; deleted scenes with director's comments; outtakes; Snoop Dogg: Undercover Funk music video; animated shorts; theatrical trailers
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Universal
DVD RELEASE: July 2, 2003 [Also available on video]
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