Made a decent film once but.
Now he makes "Most Wanted".
Haikus are fun. So is this movie. Too bad it was all downhill from here.I never thought of Keenan Ivory Wayans as funny - sure, he had some good moments on "In Living Color", but he always seemed upstaged by his siblings. Especially Marlon. That boy's got talent, and that sitcom he has on the WB is one spicy number. And now Keenan makes shit like "The Glimmer Man" and "Most Wanted" and "A Low Down Dirty Shame". And, as of yet, the comedic potential of Antonio Fargas and Jim Brown seems to remain untapped, by choice of the masses. So this movie didn't exactly promise quality by its very existence.
"Wow. It's true. Keenan Ivory Wayans WAS funny once!"
Blaxploitation movies were a good idea to start; there weren't many black characters in movies, unless you count that one evil black guy in the alley who was constantly threatening helpless white women. And since African-Americans were beginning to represent a sizable portion of the moviegoing public, Whitey decided that the brothers might want to go see some movies featuring African-Americans in more "positive" roles. Sure, they were still waving knives and guns, but at least they were waving them at men and leaving the poor white women alone. And so, a genre was born. It got off to a good start; "Shaft" was pretty entertaining, and "Coffy" kinda made me scared of Pam Grier, but then the whole genre just went to shit, and QUICKLY. As entertaining a title "Blacula" may be, it sure as hell wasn't a good movie. Most of 'em were made by white guys who figured that as long as there were:
A) a few jive-talkin' pimps with colorful names like T-Neck, L-Wookie, and G-String;
B)some Nubian princesses whose tops mysteriously fell off at regular intervals to reveal breasts the size of Cleveland, and;
C)a cameo performance by "The Man" (the evil white guy who controls all the media, the justice system, and the TV networks - there HAS to be some reason why I can't see re-runs of "Sanford and Son" on Canadian TV). "The Man" was played by a grey-haired fellow who would laugh evilly, have several minions which he would dispatch to put a stop to (insert blaxploitation hero name here)'s attempts to break up his dope ring/porn industry/gambling casino/illegal mule races, and kidnap (aforementioned blaxploitation hero)'s woman/best friend/foul-mouthed apopleptic grandma. Oh, yes, "The Man" was very evil, but he eventually would fall out of a building;
If a movie contained these three elements, everything would be fine, and the African American public would eat that shit up with ketchup. Surprisingly, they didn't. The studios would release dozens of these movies, with such titles as "Black Caesar", "Mr. Mean", "Truck Turner", "I put my damn foot in a bitch's ass", "I put my damn foot in a bitch's ass 2: More bitches, same ol' foot" and "Let's kill Whitey". They all sucked, and the public that they were targeting eventually figured out that these films were basically rich white people's stereotypical view of how African-Americans lived, and stopped going. Much like the greatly underappreciated teen sex comedies of the 80's, the blaxploitation era was condemned to die a slow death on video store shelves, next to that copy of "Hudson Hawk".
But everyone always has a soft spot in their heart for really lousy-ass movies, so that's why "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka" works really well. It's not on the same level as "Airplane" or "Naked Gun" when it comes to parody movies - it's much more gentle ribbing. Keenan Ivory Wayans wrote and directed the film, and he's obviously seen a lot of the films he's sending up, and he has a genuine affection for them.
The plot: Jack Spade (Keenan Ivory Wayans) comes home to find that his brother Junebug has OG'd (Over Gold - too many gold chains). He sets out to find Mr. Big to get revenge for his brother. He is joined by local legend John Slade (Bernie Casey), as well as Isaac Hayes, Jim Brown, and Steve James. The fact that Casey, Hayes, and the rest have all starred in numerous blaxploitation films themselves gives the film a sense of kinship with the genre it's parodying. The film FEELS like a blaxploitation film, which is vital for a parody.
Jack's gang heads out to break up Mr. Big's operation, and despite Jack's complete inability to act anything like a hero (He was in the secretarial pool in the Army, and all his medals are for typing), they get to the point where Mr. Big (who is rather defensive about his role in this film, and proceeds to lecture the heroes on the various other notable actors and actresses who've done exploitation pics) has to send out his two minions (Damon Wayans and Kadeem Hardison, who are repeatedly offered the chance to take the stairs instead of taking a whupping, and make the wrong choice each time) to kidnap Jack's girlfriend (who is suffering from bad cramps, and is NOT too happy about being kidnapped). Jack must save the day, but not before he removes a really bad splinter.
The film is much more self-aware than most other parody films - witness the hero's theme music, the faking of kung-fu moves, and Jack's mom's rather hairy stunt double. It doesn't try the deadpan of the Zucker brothers, but it works, because although the movie KNOWS it's a parody, it isn't winking at the audience. The movie has a great many hilarious scenes, including the raid at the Big Brim club, "How much for a order of ribs?", the Pimp of the Year competition, and the sad ordeal Jim Brown must endure with his bunions.
The film is loaded with future "In Living Color" stars - David Allen Grier, Chris Rock, and every Wayans sibling you know (including the Director's sister, playing - The Director's sister). The film has its faults - it's sometimes a little too obscure with its references, often to the point that a joke isn't funny unless you've seen the movie it's parodying. The romantic subplot is also a little overdone, as we see Wayans' rippling muscles one too many times to forget that he's also the director. As well, some of the jokes are just beaten into the ground. But overall, it's a lot of fun.
"I'm gonna git you sucka" is a good, quoteable movie (always important for a comedy) that managed to do the impossible; seeing it, it made me want to rent some of the original blaxploitation movies he was satirizing. So I did. They still sucked. ESPECIALLY "Truck Turner". I wouldn't see that movie again at gunpoint.Another great talent wasted by the lure of action movies, Keenan Ivory seems to be returning to his roots; he co-wrote "Don't be a Menace...." and the upcoming "Scary Movie". Next task: Getting Steve Buscemi to stop doing Bruckheimer pictures.
link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=2293&reviewer=27
originally posted: 12/04/99 21:06:30