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Undercover Brother
IMDB Rating: 5.8/10 from PG-13 votes
Release: 31 May 2002 /

Undercover Brother

Genre: Action, Comedy
Director: Malcolm D. Lee,
Stars: , , ,
Synopsis: When The Man tries to derail a black candidate's presidential campaign, Undercover Brother and his fellow secret agents come to the rescue.

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Critic Reviews

There's seems to be a lot of misplaced animosity among, what I presume, are "white" commentators, regarding this film's racial thrust.

The film isn't about belittling or ridiculing "white people."

The film is about tackling prejudices: And specifically those among the U.S.'s so-called "white" and "black" populations, but told from, ostensibly, a "black" perspective, and told with humor.

Reading the negative comments on this film I wonder what movie some of the angry folks were watching. Racism is using one's own physical traits to establish social superiority over another person, or group of people, who don't look like themselves. I saw nothing of any of the African/Black/persons-of-color trying to "reverse role play" by holding themselves in a superior light over so-called "white people."

It simply wasn't there.

Myself, I hate "white guilt" messages in media of all forms. I've had enough social agenda thrust in my face. But that's NOT THE MESSAGE of "Undercover Brother."

What a lot of the "angry-white-commentators" are bothered by is the fact that they believe this film makes ALL so-called "white persons" look like evil-clowns, or condescending jerks. IT DOESN'T. If that's what you see in this film, then maybe you shouldn't be watching movies in the first place.

This film, as stated clear as day by both cast and crew, is an attempt to tackle a social problem with good humor. If you're offended by the jokes in this film, then you've completely missed the point, and are, in fact, the racist idiot that you claim this film to be (I believe psychologist call this phenomenon "projection," where someone refuses to acknowledge their own faults, and casts their own negative qualities on people they dislike).

But to the movie; it was hilarious. Myself, not being black, I couldn't help but laugh of the number of stereotypes this film poked fun at; especially "Conspiracy Brother" (played by Dave Chappell), whose loose form of illogic-thinking and one-liners had me, quite literally, falling out of my chair with laughter. And Neil Patrick Harris (Doogie Howser M.D. fame) playing the "affirmative action" intern nearly bust my gut, particularly near the end of the film. And Chris Kattan as the evil high energy second in command was just brilliant. The entire cast and film was superb. Think "Shaft" meets "Get Smart" here. :-)

What this film needed was to poke more fun at itself in a more direct manner. In a large sense this film pokes fun at itself in terms of its genre, but I think it also needed to show a couple more stereotypes. One of the great "high-profile" stereotypes in white America are black people talking in theaters, or otherwise being loud and obnoxious in places and circumstances "white" Americans thinks inappropriate. It would've been nice to see Undercover Brother cleaning up "his peoples" stereotypes, but doing so with humor before going after "the man."

I think that's a thing the film makers missed, because the other thing I believe "angry white commentators" are bothered by is the fact that there are "black" folks who have their own prejudices, and that this film might seen by that segment of black-America as a green light for ridiculing "whites." IT ISN'T.

One of the other themes the film makers missed is the coupling that that occurs between Denise Richard's character and Eddie Griffin's character. One of the primary drives of racism is the abhorrence of interracial couples. This plot point, even though it's high comedy, seemed implausible for a racially motivated antagonist. Then again, that may've been part of the film makers' strategy to show how ludicrous racial prejudice is, and can be.

The final mistake, and this is more of a minor quibble, but a profound one from a fan of this film, was the downplay of Jim Kelley's role in this film.

Where I grew up Jim Kelley was a hero, and this was amongst a circle of friends who were all white. I think the marketing decision to ace Jim Kelley's role in this film was a mistake. Not a huge one, but a mistake nonetheless.

If you're still of the opinion that this film is racist (assuming you've read this far and haven't burst a blood vessel), then I would suggest you're taking the film too personally, because the film isn't ridiculing so-called "white-people," but prejudice that, in this case, is assumed by a large chunk of white America. If you think otherwise, then you're not viewing this film with a clear mind.

Beyond that, it's one of the funniest films I've ever seen. View it with a relaxed and open mind, and enjoy some of the biggest laughs to ever hit the big screen.

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