Malibu's Most Wanted
2003, PG-13, 86 min. Directed by John Whitesell. Starring Jamie Kennedy, Taye Diggs, Anthony Anderson, Blair Underwood, Regina Hall, Damien Dante Wayans, Ryan O'Neal, Bo Derek, Snoop Dogg.
REVIEWED By Marc Savlov, Fri., April 18, 2003
On the lower, less-developed levels of Hades these days, there is, with luck, a spot reserved for the makers of Malibu’s Most Wanted, somewhere between Vanilla Ice’s cramped and airless Styx-side cabana and Milli Vanilli’s touring Yugo. With any luck, they’ll all get together eventually and spend eternity getting revolving beat-downs from Suge Knight and WB mascot Michigan J. Frog, while Jam Master Jay, Tupac, Biggie, and the rest throw the bones and laugh up topside. There are plenty of blunts in Hell, my friends, but there are no lighters. Fans of Jamie Kennedy’s The Jamie Kennedy Experiment on the WB (anyone?) may find themselves pining for Emmanuel Lewis after checking out the white-bread comedian’s limp and obnoxious take on the world of wannabe cultural puddle jumpers in Malibu’s Most Wanted. The movie offers up Kennedy as Brad Gluckman, a blue-blood California teenager with a serious case of the wiggas and somewhat less sense than Jerry Lewis in The Caddy. The character originally saw fruition on Kennedy’s television show, and the film feels like a truly awful Saturday Night Live sketch padded out to such unholy lengths as to make It’s Pat seems like a comic masterstroke. The plot (credited to four writers, three of whom come from the television show) has Kennedy’s Brad – or "B-Rad" as he’s been self-dubbed – being kidnapped by a pair of Juilliard-trained, out-of-work actors (Diggs, Anderson) who’ve been hired by B-rad’s dad (O’Neal, slumming way beyond his current semi-celebrity sphere of influence), a wealthy gubernatorial hopeful, in an effort to "scare the black out of" his wayward son, who’s in love with all things ghetto. The plan backfires (but then don’t they all?) as the faux gangstas cruise around South Central Los Angeles and the audience endures some of the worst raps since Fear of a Black Hat‘s Niggaz With Hats rhymed about their "peanuts." Unlike that hip-hop parody (as well as Chris Rock’s occasionally inspired CB-4), Malibu’s Most Wanted has less than zero to offer, humorously or otherwise, on the state of hip-hop today. The sight of the abrasively unfunny Kennedy sporting baby-blue FUBU gear, doo-rags, and enough golden bling-bling finery to sink a Fat Boy is enough to tank a woefully unfunny film like this, but his constant adenoidal braying and witless yammering about "keepin’ it real, yo," is tantamount to a crime against nature and an insult to comic masterminds like, oh, Pauly Shore, who, fittingly enough, worked with Malibu’s Most Wanted writers Fax Bahr and Adam Small on the Wease’s early Nineties bombs Son-in-Law and In the Army Now. And in a peculiar twist, writer Small formerly worked on the classic punk rock doc Another State of Mind all the way pack in ‘84, which just goes to prove that yes, Virginia, punk is dead. And now, apparently, so is hip-hop.