Malibu's Most Wanted

A surprisingly likeable farce that suggests a cross between BULWORTH and 8 MILE; it's not as smart as the former, but it's considerably funnier than the latter. Spoiled rich kid Brad "B-Rad" Gluckman (Jamie Kennedy) — a character first seen on TV's JKX: The Jamie Kennedy Experiment — has never been outside the Malibu city limits but, like over-privileged...read more

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Reviewed by Steve Simels
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A surprisingly likeable farce that suggests a cross between BULWORTH and 8 MILE; it's not as smart as the former, but it's considerably funnier than the latter. Spoiled rich kid Brad "B-Rad" Gluckman (Jamie Kennedy) — a character first seen on TV's JKX: The Jamie Kennedy Experiment — has never been outside the Malibu city limits but, like over-privileged hepcats from time immemorial, is obsessed with black (in this case, hip-hop) culture. The difference is that B-Rad is convinced that he actually is black, a delusion which leads his therapist (Jeffrey Tambor) to observe that he's never seen a worse "case of gangsta-phrenia." B-Rad's delusions would be nothing more than an annoyance were his father, Bill Gluckman (Ryan O'Neal), not running for the office of governor of California; B-Rad's rap-star affectations are seriously undermining his poll numbers. Gluckman pere's ruthlessly ambitious campaign manager, Tom Gibbons (Blair Underwood), comes up with a solution: hire out-of-work actors Sean (Taye Diggs) and PJ (Anthony Anderson) to pose as thugs, "kidnap" B-Rad and scare the poseur out of him with a tour of the real mean streets. Unfortunately, neither actor is much of a homeboy — Sean prepares by reading a dictionary of hip-hop slang — so they enlist the help of Sean's beautiful and street-smart cousin, Shondra (Regina Hall), as both technical advisor and bait. B-Rad's pretensions have the potential to become really annoying, and during the first fifteen minutes of the film it's hard to resist hoping that somebody will smack the kid upside the head. Fortunately, the screenplay (co-written by Kennedy) is as much about the plight of actors as it is about the difficulties of faux-gangstas, and Kennedy is rather endearing as the hapless hero; in fact, it's hard not to feel a little sorry for him when his dreams of rap stardom get smoked in a club throw-down. The ending — which involves a South Central shootout crashed by B-Rad's D-Ad — is a bit over the top, and it's hard to believe a silly rich kid like B-Rad could ever could win Shondra's heart. But the film delivers some genuine laughs — Diggs and Anderson are a hoot throughout — and real rapper Snoop Dogg all but steals the picture with his brief voice turn as Ronnie Rizzat, a hip-hop rodent whom B-Rad initially mistakes for Stuart Little.

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  • Released: 2003
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Review: A surprisingly likeable farce that suggests a cross between BULWORTH and 8 MILE; it's not as smart as the former, but it's considerably funnier than the latter. Spoiled rich kid Brad "B-Rad" Gluckman (Jamie Kennedy) — a character first seen on TV's JK… (more)

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