Hey folks, Valkor here. And I welcome you to TOV's "30 in 30", where I'll review 30 unique film and maybe some not so unique, all in 30 days. What's cool for most of the flicks, is that I know nothing about em. So this should be a real treat not just for you guys, but for me as well. Good or bad, this is gonna be a fun month. It all starts today July the 4th and ends on Aug the 3rd. Can I make it through? We'll know soon enough!
Words to live by: Never judge a book by its cover. It is a lesson that, at times, I have a hard time learning. Sometimes when a film, book, or even food, just doesn't look right, I turn away. And that's not always good because I could be missing out on something great (or bad, but better to have tried than not tried at all). So it was with much skepticism that I went into 2002 "sleeper hit" Undercover Brother starring Eddie Griffin, Dave Chappelle, Denise Richards, and Chris Kattan. On the outset, it looked like Austin Powers… but with soul. And even that film was a hit to me, but I didn't find it to be good until it was on VHS (and DVD) with part two having been just around the corner. So let's reel in number 27 of our 30 in 30 with a look at this now classic film (at least in my eyes).
Undercover Brother stars Eddie Griffin who plays a super secret agent with soul known as… well "Undercover Brother". He's the black Robin Hood of 2002, except he's stuck in the 70's with his major afro, 70's style dress, which includes bellbottoms and platform shoes, and even drives a big ass 70's car. One day at a neighborhood bank, a secret organization known as B.R.O.T.H.E.R.H.O.O.D. planned to infiltrate and steal bank records to help neighborhood blacks with their home loans. But UB gets in the way erasing the records before the group could get their hands on it. This catches the eye of their leader, who is simply known as "The Chief" (Chi McBride) and asks, no, demands UB be brought in. When UB enters the realm of the B.R.O.T.H.E.R.H.O.O.D. , he is introduced to another organization that seeks to fight injustice against "The Man" (Robert Trumbull) aka Mr. Charley aka Whitey. Within the group is a set of select special agents, all linking to one black stereotype or another such as "Sistah Girl" (Aunjanue Ellis), Conspiracy Brother (Dave Chappelle), Smart Brother (Gary Anthony Williams), and Lance (NPH!!! Neil Patrick Harris)... who was brought in thanks to affirmative action (who knew it worked in reverse). The U.S. is on the verge of having its first Black President, who is simply known as "The General" (Billy Dee Williams) and The Man wants to stop it. His minion, Mr. Feather (Kattan), has concocted a plan using mind control. And just as the General Is about to make his big announcement, he flips the script and announces he's opening up a Chicken Franchise. And now it's up to the B.R.O.T.H.E.R.H.O.O.D. and Undercover Brother, to get to the bottom of this fiendish plot.
UB infiltrates "The Man's HQ, dressing as an "Uppity Brother" or Oreo (Dark on the outside, white in the middle) to find out what's really goin down. But Feather, has plans for UB in the form of White She-Devil (Richards), otherwise known as "Blackman Kryptonite". You can't make this stuff up! Can Undercover Brother and the B.R.O.T.H.E.R.H.O.O.D stop The Man's plans before its too late?
it's too bad a sequel was never made; last I heard Eddie Griffin wouldn't be on board unless the script was good enough. Meh!
Undercover Brother ranks as an instant classic in my book, and is probably one of the funniest films around! Watching the trailer, before seeing the film, I had serious low expectations. But that all went out the window when UB entered "The B.R.O.T.H.E.R.H.O.O.D." and hilarity ensued. Hell just watchin him bounce around in his car brought out a few chuckles. Plus the movie has quotes you could spout for days on end, such as the conversation between UB and Conspiracy brother about "White man Conspiracies" ending with "And O.J. really didn't do it?" and the rest of the room just shies away. Or when Lance walks into The Chief's office and says "It's like the Source Awards in here" (My personal favorite). This is laugh out loud comedy, nuff said, and it's filled with tons of slapstick and play on words. The acting in the film is boss and everyone looks to have had a great time. Cool points are rewarded to Griffin for bringing the low-key internet character to life. I watched some of the clips and I honestly prefer the film to the flash skits. Denise Richards so had the look of a 70's white woman, who falls in love with a black man - that brought about roars of laughter! But Uber-cool points is awarded to Dave Chappelle for essentially stealing the show with his Conspiracy brother! From the door, as soon as he starts complaining about the real meaning of "Good Morning", you'll be rolling non-stop!
Undercover Brother takes the worse racial stereotypes of blacks and whites and pokes some serious fun at it, keeping the comedy well balanced without going over the top. It's a great film that you've probably never seen or maybe you're like me and the cover didn't appeal to you at all. But I assure you, you're in for a rolling good time with Undercover Brother. And out of TOV 5 stars, I give the film 5 stars spot on perfect! Solid!