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MALIBU’S MOST WANTED

A spoiled-rotten kid who is definitely not from the Hood is determined to become a big-time rapper, which upsets his father, who is determined to become the governor of California.


CAST: Jamie Kennedy, Taye Diggs, Anthony Anderson, Blair Underwood, Regina Hall, Damien Dante Wayans, Ryan O'Neal, Bo Derek, Snoop Dogg

DIRECTOR: John Whitesell

"When it works, ‘Malibu's Most Wanted’ scores glancingly as a mischievous social satire lampooning spoiled suburban white boys who play at being black, as well as the hyper-macho attitudes and vocabulary of actual gangsta rappers…The most subversive thing about the movie is its suggestion that gangsta-rap authenticity is a pose as affected as its white suburban imitations…In the end, the movie, directed by John Whitesell, loses its nerve. By the time B-Rad, still rapping away, finds himself a political asset to a father who has done a contrite U-turn in his feelings toward junior, the film has turned to mush as obsequious as Dad's campaign slogans." --Stephen Holden, The New York Times

"‘Malibu's Most Wanted’ has laugh-out-loud moments of inspired idiocy. The problem is that this one-joke skit (done first and better by Britain's Ali G) has been given the Hamburger Helper treatment and stretched to feature length…And too much of Kennedy's Brad ‘B-Rad’ Gluckman, a moronic, slightly effeminate wimp who wears velour sweatsuits, bling-bling chains and a perpetually constipated look, is not a good thing…Kennedy and his writers have come up with some funny one-liners, but they are let down by the feebleness of the structure." --Megan Lehmann, The New York Post

"‘Malibu's Most Wanted’ mines a well-worn comedic vein, but does so with a consistent good humor and surprisingly deft touch. It's hardly the funniest, most refreshing piece of comedy in years, but as a satire of the mass-media stereotypes Hollywood consistently foists on its black characters, it'll more than do…The laughs are genuine, if frequently obvious. Malibu's Most Wanted is filled with characters called upon to act against type, finding its humor by juxtaposing what audiences expect with what the characters actually do." --Chris Kaltenbach, The Baltimore Sun

"The movie has a good satirical idea and does some nice things with it, but not enough. Flashes of inspiration illuminate stretches of routine sitcom material; it's the kind of movie where the audience laughs loudly and then falls silent for the next five minutes…The movie has one comic insight: The gangsta lifestyle is not authentic to any place or race, but is a media-driven behavioral fantasy. Why should it be surprising that Eminem is the most successful rapper in America when most rap music is purchased by white suburban teenagers? Many of those who actually live in the ghetto have seen too much violence at first hand to be amused by gangsta rap…The subject is touchy, of course--race often is--but the solution might have been to push harder, not to fall back on reliable formulas." Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

"If you never saw the far superior ‘Fear of a Black Hat’ or ‘Whiteboyz,’ you might not mind that this glorified skit rarely rises above its single-joke foundation…‘Malibu's Most Wanted’ is good-hearted and mildly funny, but it's too ridiculous and too reliant on decade-old cliches to pack the hiz-ouse." --Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"Director John Whitesell and Kennedy and a clutch of his co-writers mine this improbable premise for more comic cultural satire than one might expect, but after an hour, or two-thirds of the film, they run out of gas…the film falls apart in its final third…A large cast does however get into the outrageous spirit of the occasion, including O'Neal, and the funniest sequence involves Sean and PJ, both middle-class African Americans, trying to figure out how ghetto gangsters actually behave." --Kevin Thomas, The Los Angeles Times