WIRTB Reviews: 5 of Damon Wayans' Films

By @TrueGodImmortal & @SpeedOnTheBeat

There are a number of comedians who have been great to witness and watch over the years. One of those names would turn out to be Damon Wayans, who has seemingly used television to his advantage. Whether on In Living Color or My Wife And Kids, Damon Wayans has always managed to make us laugh in television, but what about film? His success hasn't seemed to translate to films, so today on an edition of WIRTB, Speed and True talk 5 Damon Wayans films and answer the question of, was it really that bad? The 5 films in question? Blankman, Marci X (with a full review from Speed), Mo' Money, Major Payne, and Bamboozled. Why these 5 films? They have the best chance of actually NOT being that bad. The Last Boy Scout, Celtic Pride, Bulletproof, and a few others are THAT bad without really having to watch these films again.

(By @TrueGodImmortal)

-I find this film to be interesting for a number of reasons. One, the concept of a black superhero wasn't necessarily foreign, but the parody and satirical nature of this film makes it a fun watch, but technically, it's a horrible movie in general. Damon plays a nerdy repairman who turns into a superhero of sorts after the murder of his grandmother by a local gang. Darryl, Damon's character, is a bit naive in general, but once he becomes Blankman, he transforms into something surprisingly different. Using his nerdy genius and an appreciation for Batman, he goes on to fight crime as best he can with limited resources, eventually having his brother Kevin (David Alan Grier) by his side.

My issue with this film is how silly it is in concept, which I get is the point, but it makes the film slightly cringeworthy at times. The robot he's created, J-5, is a bit over the top, even for this movie, and the "gangsters" who he have to do battle with aren't much of a real threat, or at least they don't feel like one. There's an Arsenio Hall appearance in the film, another turn for Robin Givens in a romantic role, and an aptly titled character named Midget Man. Blankman tends to lose a number of fights as well, and though in the end, he prevails, there's just something about the movie that just feels off. It has some laughs due to Damon and David Alan Grier, but overall this film just doesn't do it for me. Was It Really That Bad? Despite having some funny moments, yes it was.

*Mo' Money 
(By @TrueGodImmortal)

-This 1992 film is actually a pleasant surprise. While on the surface, the concept isn't necessarily that intriguing, the movie turned out to be an overall fun watch. One of the Wayans movies (Damon helped with production and he wrote the screenplay, his brother Marlon also stars in a significant role) that tends to go slept on, this sees Damon as a con-man who meets a woman he wants to impress, Amber (played by our favorite.... or not so favorite conservative Stacey Dash). The story goes, Damon's character Johnny is working as a mailroom clerk at a credit card firm and decides to utilize the deceased cardholders information in order to have more money (hence the title) and impress Amber. He uses the credit cards info to make purchases and he gets the access from working in the mailroom.

As the story progresses, Johnny encounters Keith Heading, and gets involved in a dangerous credit card ring that threatens him and his life in many ways. He ends up getting his brother Seymour (Marlon) involved as well, until Seymour gets caught in a sting operation by police. The fallout leads to a shootout between Johnny and Keith, ending with Johnny standing tall even though he was wounded. The thing that made this movie enjoyable for me however was the fact that Damon played his role well, Marlon was good in his limited role, and even Stacey Dash did her job. Now, by no means is this a classic film, but all in all, Mo' Money is definitely a fun watch every now and then. So, to answer the question, Was It Really That Bad? No... no it wasn't.

*Marci X 
(By @SpeedOnTheBeat)
Look who's back, guys. Did you miss me? Today, we're talking Marci X. No frilly introductions to it, just talking on some "WTF did I just watch?" type of energy. We're gonna keep this one kind of short.

So, a bit of a backstory. I saw this movie in 2006, three years after its initial release. Why? Well, I was young and this young woman who I fucked on once or twice, she thought it'd be dope to laugh at. Now, you know me. I'm down for some stupid shit every once in a while. I don't hate something because it's not high-brow humor. I hate it because it sucks. So, here I am, watching Damon Wayans play CB4 (pretty much), even down to the songs about "freaky loverman shit" like butt stuff.

I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. I mean, on the surface, this film is stupid as hell, but it works...every once in a while. But, once you get down to it, it's a trite look at gangsta hip-hop in a time/place where even the gangstas were singing about loving chicks "like a fat kid love cake" and "say[ing] anything to make [them] smile" (hi Fiddy). They tried to cover that, through the "evolution" of Wayans' character, Dr. S. And, as stupid and "WTF did I just watch" this movie was, they succeeded...every once in a while. 

However, every once in a while in a film that's 90+ minutes isn't good enough. On top of that, there's the fact that we've seen this storyline before (and done better). Prissy woman (who's typically either a fish out of water or just a "white chick") gets initiated into 'that real shit' through a business dealing of some sort. Through this dealing, she falls in love with a 'real nigga' and defends said 'real nigga' against those old codgers who still don't understand 'that real shit.'" When you see this done better in shit like Soul Plane, you know your movie's fucked. It's offensive, and not in the funny type of way. 
It's offensive in that tired-ass Magical Negro meets Savior White Woman way. 

Damon, you're better than this. Lisa Kudrow, too. They're both funny people. But, for every cringeworthy moment, there's a sliver of hope that this could've been a legitimately funny movie. And then you have Lisa Kudrow doing her best "Rapture" meets proto-Kreayshawn performance about purses and all that good intention goes straight down the shitter faster than you can say "Prada."

And then you get Lisa Kudrow doing some shit that's a combination of How High meets Bollywood meets Blackface. Not to get all "triggered" or whatever the douchebros say these days, but this shit got me outraged. Who the fuck thought it was a good idea to have Lisa Kudrow do this? Seriously. There wasn't a single Black person--or person, period--who thought to themselves "hey, this is fucked up and unfunny. Lemme not do this shit?" They seriously let Lisa Kudrow wrap a fucking boa around her head like an African head-wrap, let her in-movie friends follow suit, and tell, while "high," a story about African princesses and "maybe we should become lesbians?"

Bruh, they seriously thought this would make people laugh? What people? The KKK? Most of the humor in this movie is the shit that makes racists proud. It's the type of humor that, if you're a racist, you can point to and say "oooh, look at the nigs dancing and swanging their dicks around like we think they do." 

Additionally, the music in this fuckheap is horrible. It's like we got a group of middle-aged white folks in a room and asked them "what do Black folks like in their music?" Oh Dear God, this movie is horrible.

Now, I like The Room because it's so bad and incompetent, it's fucking hilarious. Marci X doesn't even try to fail (or succeed, for that matter). It just fails by design. And, for real, there's nothing worse than a bad movie that doesn't even try. At least The Room tried to be good (not hard enough, but still). At least Soul Plane had some funny moments. At least Spider-Man 3 had Topher Grace, who was the perfect evil skinny assclown doppelganger for Tobey Maguire. At least The Honeymooners had Regina Hall, who's sexy in anything she does, to distract me every now and again. Marci X has none of those things. Fuck this movie. They say if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything...so, I think I'll just shut up about this one for here on out. To answer the question at hand, YES THIS MOVIE WAS THIS BAD! YES.

*Major Payne 
(By @TrueGodImmortal)

-I was never a fan of this movie at first. I remember thinking it was stupid and that it was really a waste of my time. I was right and wrong. Major Payne isn't what you call a cinematic classic, but it was entertaining and who could deny Karyn Parsons (word to Hillary Banks) in a leading lady romantic role? The story of Damon as a hardened Marine who wants to push the students at a military prep school to greater heights. Hilarity and craziness ensues and we get treated to Damon being outlandish and spazzing on all the students for a solid duration of the movie. He says some off the wall stuff, especially to Tiger (what up Orlando Brown), who he ends building a close relationship with later on.

He turns his attention to the school counselor, Emily (Parsons) who does not agree with his method of doing things. They bump heads and eventually it seems Iike they can't co-exist, but at some point, Emily takes a slow liking to Major Payne. Of course, the movie ends on a positive note, and while I enjoyed the movie, it did have its share of bad moments. Still, when asked the question, Was It Really That Bad? I'd have to say again, no it wasn't at all.

(By @TrueGodImmortal)

-The movie based on satire of the corporate world and their depiction of black images on TV and film is a slept on Spike Lee film. Damon stars as Pierre De La Croix, a network exec who eventually goes against everything he seemingly stands for just to get a successful show on TV. The movie has a lot of deep moments, one that shows how our people were treated and abused by not only slave masters, but the modern day version of that in the TV execs. Damon's character eventually goes too far and brings a show to the network that's offensive and takes our people back many, many years.

What I love about this movie is the perspective of Pierre. Next to him is former love interest (it's hinted at) and working partner Sloan (played by Jada Pinkett Smith), and she's the voice of reason. She wants Pierre to stand up for what they believe in, but Pierre refuses. Eventually, once some backlash comes, Pierre is awakened, but in the midst of his awakening, a fatal moment changes everything as the movie nears the end. It's not a perfect movie, and it isn't my favorite Spike Lee joint, BUT I'd dare say, it is easily the best Damon Wayans movie we've ever witnessed.



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