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Don't Bother, Brother

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Undercover Brother (PG-13)
Universal

If I told you that Undercover Brother kept me on the edge of my seat I'd also have to tell you that it was only my butt, and that the rest of my body was slouched back in that Tinseltown Laz-E Boy seat, fighting off the nods.

Aside from a few "laughing on the inside" moments, this Austin Powers-meets-blaxploitation knock-off chortles through one failed slapstick sketch after the next.

The trailers and the premise seemed promising: Undercover Brother (Eddie Griffin) is a supahfly superhero brothah trying to keep the funk and soul of the '70s alive by fighting The Man and his assistant Mr. Feather (Chris Kattan). When The Man drugs General Boutwell (Billy Dee Williams) and uses him to open a fried chicken chain that will allow them to disseminate their mind controlling hallucinogen throughout the world, Undercover Brother joins forces with the B.R.O.T.H.E.R.H.O.O.D. to defeat the man.

The only vaguely inspired moments come from comedian David Chapelle as Conspiracy Brother and the barely recognizable Neil Patrick Harris (Doogie Howser!) as Lance, the lone sarcastic white guy working with the B.R.O.T.H.E.R.H.O.O.D. ("affirmative action").

Sadly, Undercover Brother isn't even bad enough to be so bad it was good.

--Noel Black

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