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Absolutely one of my favorite light comedies with "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka" and "Half Baked". I can't put it in a category with "Airplane" because that is the standard by which all other parodies are measured.
"Don't Be A Menace" is the most obvious collection of predictable gags and bits I have seen in a long time, but it is by far the funniest. The Wayans are rather stuck - the genres they parody here have very rigid conventions, so much so that there is usually only one or two gags one can use to mock them - e.g., when a young gangsta warns us that many young men in the 'hood don't live to see their 21st birthday, we all know what's coming next. So the Wayans handle it in a manner that delays the punchline while emphasizing its obviousness. Thus we laugh with them, appreciating the way they pull it off, and recognizing the gangsta genre limit that's getting parodied, rather than at the bit itself.
Just about the whole movie operates on this level, and for this reason has become one of my favorite comedies. The Wayans capture every moment with a dead-on rhythm that blends the gags into a kind of music. Shawn plays the steady bass while Marlon does some wild riffing. Other characters and bits drop in and out like improvisation and sound effects. Keenan Wayans drops in every now and then like the voice on a scratch dub. The tempo could have been a little swifter, but the rhythm itself is excellent.
Comedy like this is very tricky, and I personally didn't think the Wayans' efforts in the "Scary Movie" films were quite as successful - but here they move it right along.
It's rude, it's crude, it's in-yor-face - and it's just a delight to watch.
Although "Don't Be A Menace" is parodied from many other movies, that I have never even heard of, I still got the whole idea. If you've seen it many times you'll get it after awhile, although you've got to really pay attention to the movie to get it.
One of the best scenes is when Bernie Mac, Officer Self Hatred, arrests Ashtray (Shawn) and Loc Dog (Marlon) for being black, even though Bernie Mac, like Marlon and Shawn, is black himself.
Another scene you don't want to miss is definitely is in the beginning of the movie when Ashtray's mom drops him off at his dad's house, who happens to be younger than Ashtray, Ashtray opens the car door only to cause a bike rider to hit it and flip his bike over it.
I would definitely encourage anyone to buy/rent this movie because it's a "classic" Waynes Brother's Movie. Hopefully we'll see more the of the Waynes brother's movies coming out in the future: Little Man being one of them.
If either of these things are true, see this movie. If not, don't bother. I think that I have never laughed harder than during this movie. One of my personal favorite comedies.
This parody of movies such as "Menace II Society" Boyz N Da Hood" and "Dead Presidents" was funny as hell.
They really poke fun at themselves to the extreme, making fun of guns, booze and lets not forget the ladies.
I really enjoyed this, it was a movie where you could grab some popcorn lay back, switch your mind off and laugh non stop.
There was not so much a plot as there was a series of jokes showing black people in a less than positive light. In the movie's first five minutes, two young black men are gunned down. A hysterical mother cries over the body of her 'baby' until she realizes the young man isn't hers, and then she quickly calms down and becomes quite indifferent.
Ashtray arrives in the 'hood' in a car driven by his mother, who wants Ashtray to live with his father. The mother will not be seen again, because, as she says, there can be no positive black women in this movie. The father actually appears to be younger than Ashtray, who recalls at one point in the movie that he used to change his father's diapers.
Ashtray meets a girl named Dashiki, who is described as having more children than Mrs. Wayans. He is introduced to those children, all sitting in a row, some not even black like their mother. Asked 'What do you say?', the children all reply in unison, 'Are you my daddy?' (Despite the presence of children, this movie should not be seen by anyone under the age of, say, 21. At least I saw an edited version.) Later in the movie, Ashtray must decide whether he wants to make a commitment to Dashiki.
About halfway through the movie, either I became immune to the jokes or the movie ran out of creative energy. Or maybe the writers just wanted to give us a rest, because it was desperately needed. But the laughs soon started up again. Some samples of the humor:
-A refrigerator was full of '40', an alcoholic beverage which it seemed everyone drank (even a baby bottle was filled with something the same color as '40'). A water cooler was refilled using '40'.
-In front of a Korean-owned grocery, one of several black men in a car pulled a gun on Loc Dog. Loc Dog had a larger gun. The man pulled out an even bigger gun. Loc Dog opened the back of his truck to reveal a missile labeled 'USSR'.
-At a party, one black man refused to dance with a beautiful black woman, deciding instead that he wanted a hideously ugly white woman.
-Loc Dog did everything possible to mess up his job interview, when his competition appeared to be Ivy League educated whites with the personality typically associated with Harvard. He got the job anyway. I won't say what job, but it suited him.
-A black cop and a white cop arrested Ashtray and Loc Dog just for being black. The black cop seemed to genuinely hate blacks without even seeming aware he was himself black.
-A road test for a driver's license included the license examiner robbing a bank.
I highly recommend this movie for anyone who just needs a good laugh and does not care about quality or being offended.
You don't need to watch any other "hood" movie to understand or like this movie, you probably just need to know a little bit about the hood or about the street life or what you may like to call it. Im not American, Im not black, and I liked the movie and understood the humor on it completely, also helped that I listen to some American rap and I can more fully understand some references related to racial issues.
About the movie itself it has no plot so its impossible for anyone to come here and write a spoiler. It's a succession of events, and the plot is just an excuse to keep it going. I find it a very smart, lively and audacious caricature/satire of hood life, all the stereotypes exaggerated and pointed out in a very straight fashion, straight and real enough to hurt many "sensitive" feelings, not every scene in the movie is hilarious some are not so funny, but it is made in such a relaxed and flowing atmosphere that everything is fine is all good.
Music is excellent and it has many quality details from the production creating the right atmosphere. Well I loved this movie and I wish they would make more of this kind, at the same time it is a surreal or a nonsense comedy it has very deep meaning on it and it can look so real, because reality is so much like this, day to day life is not full of drama, its more full of comedy, and full of crazy and superficial characters somehow similar to the ones on this movie. Also reference to many talented actors here that became famous, almost every face is familiar.
Comparing this with "Friday" or "Scary movie" for me is more hilarious than the movie itself. Just watch it, its a whole different level. Sorry if I got carried away with the review, this one deserves a big text and a 9.
It's a tremendous spoof of "'Hood films." It takes every cliche in the book and kicks its metaphorical head in!
I'd recommend this. I especially like the gun battle scene where the bullets are flying and the kid on the Big Wheel just sits there looking bored and VERY unimpressed.
Nearly all life acts are from movies; nearly all stereotypes are from acts.
The Wayons merely close the loop: movies where the acts are stereotypes of stereotypes. They really know what they are doing, disguising it as social commentary. But that you get enough of in the first five minutes. Check out how many jokes are about acting, about every third one.
And then check out what they did next, with "Scary Movies," which takes the circle one more loop.
I admit that I'm a fan. They seem to be the only ones who can do what Zucker used to: serve up what are generally called spoofs.
I think it is because they start knowing that the target isn't bits of movies, but the bits we use in inventing the stories of who we are.
Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.
When you see it, you're gonna like it a lot... you're gonna sleep laughing, wake up laughing, walk to the kitchen laughing, you're gonna have your breakfast laughing, you'll go to your job laughing, but then you're gonna stop laughing when you see your boss coming to ask you why you're laughing. Then you'll get back home, then you'll watch the movie again, then you're gonna sleep laughing and all.
I really enjoyed this movie and would recommend it to anyone who wants a good laugh.