Just saw "Undercover Brother." It was okay. I was bamboozled into seeing it by a positive review from Salon. The San Francisco Chronicle gave the film its Milquetoast for the Mainstream stamp of approval. I should have payed greater heed to the San Francisco Bay Guardian, which is reliably cynical, but sometimes they wear their pants too tight in the seat when it comes to comedy or take their art house chic selves too seriously, and I thought this might be one of those occasions.
There are some funny moments but Guardian film intern Summers Henderson is correct when she/he says director Malcolm Lee has "no sense of comic timing" and Eddie Griffin is "no leading man." Griffin is intermittently funny at best. The pacing and editing of the film are off in far too many scenes.
Perhaps reviewers were afraid of coming off like the uncool white people who are parodied in the film if they didn't get hip to the program with the positive feedback. I don't have that problem, because I know I'm uncool. I'm very much in touch with my inner dork. Why, I touched my dork just yesterday, if you get my meaning. But I can spot good comedy with my lorgnettes a mile away. Not only that, I am quite proficient in mimicking the black argot. That's what I spent all of my middle school Latin classes at my exclusive and mostly white private school practicing with my black friend named Thor, who by the time he was an upper classman was speaking with an English accent. I'm not even making this up. We had an ongoing Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde skit that absolutely killed us about a black guy named Dinky (based on a guy whose name was, in fact, Dinky, who we played hoops with) who would transmogrify into a very proper alter ego by the name of Richard Dinkworth.
Anyway, this movie isn't even the best Dave Chapelle film out there. That distinction goes to "Half Baked."