This review has been ‘repurposed’ from my other site, theOneliner.com
Well, at the time of writing we’re rapidly approaching Halloween where all manner of evil things stalk the earth, so I suppose we shouldn’t be too surprised that another Wayans brothers film has been released to prey upon an unsuspecting public. Having decided that ‘man pretends to be woman for some reason’ is no longer at the absolute cutting edge of comedy, White Chicks sees brothers Shawn and Marlon Wayans playing the brothers Kevin and Marcus Copland respectively in a staggering work of breathtaking genius as ‘black men pretend to be white women for some reason’, thus doubling the role reversal quotient at a stroke. Oooh, fabby.
Disgraced after another failed ‘renegade cop’ routine leaves their suspects missing and a shop and their reputation in ruins, the Copelands are busted down by their FBI bosses to the equivalent of babysitting duty. Left to pick up spoilt Wilson sisters Brittany (Maitland Ward) and Tiffany (Anne Dudek) from the airport and transport them to the last major social event of the season and the Hampton, a minor motor accident en route leaves the girls with the most minor of minor injuries. Being the one dimensional whinemongers that they are this leaves them unable to fulfil their social engagements, which throws a spanner in the FBI’s plan to use them as bait for a notorious kidnapper to snatch up. The solution is of course obvious, pull a modified Face/Off and pretend to be the girls.
Donning perhaps the most genuinely disturbing prosthetic parodies of their wards which seem to be totally convincing to everyone in the film for reasons that are never entirely clear, they take the ladies’ place on what would be lovely to think of as a laugh a minute thrill ride. They interact with the Wilson’s utterly unsuspecting cadre of upper class irritant friends and bulldoze their way through the socialite calendar with their streetwise attitude and etc, etc, etc. I’m sure you can imagine the rest yourself, which is fortunate as is saves you from actually having to watch it.
There are worse comedies out there, if only because the Wayans have made ’em themselves. Witness Scary Movie 2, which would surely represent the nadir of anyone’s career if the director in question was Ed Wood, let alone Keenen Ivory Wayans. Actually, if you can help it don’t witness Scary Movie 2, although it’s certainly a criminally bad film so I suppose ‘witness’ is the correct term. I can’t help but feel we’re getting a little sidetracked in this paragraph, so let’s start again.
There are worse comedies out there, but that’s not necessarily a recommendation for anyone to invest the time and effort in watching a movie that at it’s heart isn’t very funny. There’s a few chuckles to be had, largely when they Wayans aren’t on screen oddly enough. The best (although completely leftfield) lines are reserved for the pair of rival FBI agents, Gomez (Eddie Velez) and Harper (Lochlyn Munro). Don’t take that as too much of Wayans bashing statement – they did write it after all.
I could, I suppose, write about class and gender reversals and assorted other intellectual leaning aspects that the film makes passing reference to amongst the cheap gags, but the film honestly isn’t worth the effort. Certainly not intended as a diatribe on modern society, it’s a comedy flick that doesn’t have a great many funny bits in it. This is a Bad Thing. It’s crass and obvious filmmaking, leaving no fart joke uncovered and the actual reason the lads are dolled up as ladies is shoehorned in at the final furlong in a hurried, almost exasperated fashion that makes you wish they hadn’t bothered. I think we’ve made our opinion on the ‘gross-out’ Yank teen comedies that this leans towards (although not a fully fledged member) quite clear in the past; if there’s any doubt then Sir Disko’s American Pie: The Wedding review ought to clear it up. White Chicks isn’t as bad as that, but it’s certainly not good either. As it contains a below average number of funny bits but isn’t otherwise actively offensive it gets two snowflakes, and I’ve little inclination to spend any more of my precious time justifying it further.