Brief Review: Undercover Brother (2002)

From director Malcolm D. Lee comes this brief but fun Blaxploitation spoof that laughs in the face of political correctness. Undercover Brother is an entertaining, good-natured comedy that will appeal to fans of similar films such as Austin Powers.

A clandestine organisation that hopes to sabotage the presidential campaign of a black candidate is opposed by Undercover Brother (Eddie Griffin), a self-indulgent spy with delusions of usefulness. On his own he’s no match for them, so he allies himself with a team of secret agents known as the B.R.O.T.H.E.R.H.O.O.D.

A nonsensical story is perfectly acceptable for goofy comedies such as this. Undercover Brother makes no excuses for its lack of depth, instead it chooses to embrace its silliness. The plot is completely secondary, though surprisingly not detrimental to, the comedy. It provides a loose foundation from which an assortment of gags are produced.

Eddie Griffin is in his element as the titular agent. Equal parts obnoxious, cowardly and egotistical, but hilariously so, Griffin effortlessly raises the most smiles. Dave Chappelle also adds to the comedy as Conspiracy Brother Jones, a highly strung agent that struggles with drug-induced paranoia.

Malcolm D. Lee has hastily crammed in as many gags as possible here. While it does result in the occasional belly laugh, some gags suffer because they aren’t given enough time to sink in. Just a few extra minutes would have greatly improved the effectiveness of the comedy, allowing each joke or quip time to hit its mark. With that said, however, it does encourage multiple viewings so as not to miss any of the amusing antics.

Undercover Brother is an unashamedly daft spoof. If poking fun at racial stereotypes doesn’t appeal to you, then give this one a miss. However, if you have an aversion to political correctness and enjoy rampant buffoonery, then Undercover Brother will keep you smiling throughout.

3-stars

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