There was no way this could be good. Eddie Griffin was such a jiving bug-eyed caricature in Foolish and Double Take that he made the loathsome Chris Tucker seem like the stately Morgan Freeman. Yet amazingly, incredibly, un-freakin’-believably, Undercover Brother is Griffin’s comedic redemption.
Ever wondered why the soul-filled crossover power of the ’60s brotherhood movement backslid into the current “me”-generation? Then look no further than “The Man”, a shady character whose organisation has orchestrated a plot against black advancement. The latest method involves malt liquor, fried chicken and brainwashing every African-American in the States. The only person who can stop it is Undercover Brother (Griffin), a hero firmly lodged in an earlier and funkier era.
Yes, the script has all the unrepentant swipe of an Austin Powers movie (unsurprisingly, given it was co-scribbled by Mike Myers’ writing partner Michael McCullers) but it also pokes fun at stereotypes instead of reinforcing them, riffing on US pop culture and blaxploitation films. And any movie that features Denise Richards as a vapid mantrap merits kudos for sheer candid audacity.
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