Pootie Tang

A genial, if rather scattershot, send-up of '70s blaxploitation flicks and various other bits of pop culture detritus that's good for a couple of well-earned laughs but ultimately overstays its welcome. The titular Pootie (Lance Crouther) is a sort of all-purpose Afro-American superhero, at once a crime fighter (he can deflect bullets with his hair), a movie...read more

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Reviewed by Steve Simels
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A genial, if rather scattershot, send-up of '70s blaxploitation flicks and various other bits of pop culture detritus that's good for a couple of well-earned laughs but ultimately overstays its welcome. The titular Pootie (Lance Crouther) is a sort of all-purpose Afro-American superhero, at once a crime fighter (he can deflect bullets with his hair), a movie star, a rapper, a beloved inner city role model and — most important — a martial artist who does truly amazing things with a cheap belt bequeathed to him by his father (Chris Rock, in one of several amusing character turns). Basically, as one character puts it, he's the Da Vinci of ass-kicking. His only problem is that he's too cool for words. Literally — Pootie speaks in an impenetrable jive dialect that even his best friends can't always translate, though they generally know what he means. As one-joke premises go, this isn't the worst, and writer/director Louis C.K. (previously better known as a somewhat sinister standup comic) has a lot of fun tweaking the whole SUPERFLY gestalt, even if he can't really be bothered with anything resembling a plot. He seems to have conceived the picture as a sort of anarchic, hip-hop HELLZAPOPPIN' (1941) rather than a genre satire like I'M GONNA GIT YOU SUCKA (1988), and on that level it works. Plus, you've got to love a movie whose most memorable villain, Dirty D. (Reg E. Cathey), is a mack who eats dirt and whose idea of a pimp-mobile is a beat-up old Edsel (!). Bob Costas fans will be pleased to learn the popular TV sports maven appears in the film's framing sequences as himself; for what it's worth, he seems more than up to the challenge of the role. Pretty fly for a white guy indeed.

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  • Released: 2001
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Review: A genial, if rather scattershot, send-up of '70s blaxploitation flicks and various other bits of pop culture detritus that's good for a couple of well-earned laughs but ultimately overstays its welcome. The titular Pootie (Lance Crouther) is a sort of all-… (more)

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