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Malibu's Most Wanted (2003)

PG-13 86 minutes

Directed by John Whitesell
Written by Fax Bahr, Nick Swardson, Jamie Kennedy

Starring
 · Jamie Kennedy
 · Taye Diggs
 · Blair Underwood
 · Regina Hall (I)


Review by Thom Stricklin

Just got home from my third day at my new job at Harkins, the local theatre chain. I got off at 10:30, but didn't step in the house until half past midnight. My response to the "Where have you been?" stares in the living room:

"Don't be hatin' jus' cuz I roll up to da hizzouse late. I be makin' wit my benefits!"

Yep, Malibu's Most Wanted was my first opportunity as an employee to see a free film. I've gotta say, though it's certainly no brilliant film, it was more solid than I expected and even funnier than I knew I could count on.

 

Popcorn

 
 96%

There's no hatin' this film! It was a riot, one of the few true bust-a-gut-laughing comedies so far this year. I was afraid Kennedy might get stale bringing his "B-Rad" character to the big screen, but he consistently managed to stay fully in character and, even better, do something with that character. Catchphrases like "don't be hatin'", and the near-Shakespearean voices of Diggs and Anderson were all used in good moderation, perhaps a bit too much but not to a point of tiring. Kennedy, Diggs, Anderson, and Regina Hall all deserve a lot of credit; they were the cornerstones of the movie.

 

Smarts

 
 40%

Unlike Bringing Down the House, this film didn't feel insulting to watch. I didn't feel that, by enjoying the jokes, I was submitting to some die-hard strain of subtle racism. Perhaps it was thanks to the characters played by Taye Diggs and Anthony Anderson: two proper, stage-trained actors posing as gangstas in an attempt to "scare the white boy" out of Brad "B-Rad" Gluckman (Kennedy). The duo seemed less fit for the ghetto than B-Rad. That's the point of this film: it's not the color of your skin or even where you grew up that matters; those things don't have to dictate who you are. Sure, it's a feel-good message with a hint of political correctness, but I'd take it any day over the questionable intentions of the aformentioned House.

 

Final

If you're out for a fun flick with friends, I can definitely recommend Malibu's Most Wanted. And if you like The Jamie Kennedy Experience, I don't know how you'll live with yourself if you don't see this movie! Personally, I've been waiting to see Jamie break out since his early days in Scream, and I'm glad to see it happening. I'll probably buy the DVD just in hopes of keeping him going... and laugh with it a few more times.


417 Words Published: 19 April 2003

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