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Published on June 1st, 2008 | by simeon

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Malibu’s Most Wanted

Shakespeare once wrote that something was rotten in Denmark and in the case of the new film “Malibu’s Most Wanted”, it is Malibu that contains the olfactory threat. The threat is in the form of a movie that takes its one joke premise to painful lengths and forces the audience to endure the same pointless banter and lazy stereotypes ad nausea.
The so called story centers around Brad Gluckman (Jamie Kennedy), a rich Jewish kid from Malibu who thinks that he is so ghetto, and that he is a rapper with something to say about life in the hood. Brad’s father Bill (Ryan O’Neal) is running for Governor, and his son’s behavior has become an issue in the campaign, as he is a walking sound bite for the opposition. So what is a loving yet lost father supposed to do when therapy fails, naturally he turns the fate of his son over to his campaign manager Tom (Blair Underwood).

Tom hires two actors to kidnap Brad and scare the hood out of him by showing him what things are really like in the inner city thus setting Brad straight and keeping him out of the way during the campaign. The actors are hired and the kidnapping goes as plans. The only issue is that the men hired to scare Brad, are even less from the hood than their intended target as Sean. (Taye Diggs), and P.J. (Anthony Anderson) are classically trained actors who worry more about character motivations and authenticity then developing a solid plan to reform Brad.

While this could have been an amusing premise, it quickly degrades into the same joke over and over as Brad is oblivious to what is happening around him, and has no consistency in his character. There are times when any sane person would realize that it is time to drop the act and play along if nothing else than for self-preservation. Sadly we only see a small side of this, and Brad fluctuates between poser, player, and thug in scenes with little neither transition nor motivation. Watching the film reminded me of a sketch comedy piece that went on far to long and after getting a few laughs did not have anything to sustain it. It became tiresome to hear the same banter between the characters and see little development or motivation for the actions even by comedies standards.
The result is a film with little to say where the characters walk through their one-note parts while the audience keeps waiting for a payoff that never comes. My advice, skip this turkey and watch “Anger Management” as at least that film has some laughs and some effort put into it.

1 star out of 5


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