Don't Be A Menace... (SE)
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
The Wayans Brothers' parody of all the in the hood films – everything from JUICE to DEAD PRESIDENTS to SOUTH CENTRAL becomes fair game.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
It’s strange, but I’ve seen this film before and I remember it being a lot funnier. A second viewing of this Unrated Collector’s Series Version did not bring back fond memories. DON’T BE A MENACE (I’m not saying the whole title!) suffers from a bad case of being mostly unfunny. The Wayans Brothers (loose the hair Marlon, it was only funny for the first two minutes) and Director Paris Barclay are trying way too hard to be funny, instead of just being funny. There are a few great lines, which I remembered, but viewing the film again, they seemed so few and far between. And yes, I know it’s a parody, but even great Mel Brooks knows when to slow down and take a breath. There are so many jokes here, it almost seems like someone was nervous. So every scene is chocked full of a million gags, in the hopes that, at least, one might be funny. Not the best comedic strategy.
The Wayans are smart in one area - they surround themselves with people who are funnier then themselves. The end result is, the old timers end up stealing the show. From Helen Martin as the foul mouthed, sassy Granny, to Antonio Fargas as the tough but mother whipped Old School. And the great LaWanda Page comes out with the best and most quotable line in the film – “You gonna be walking down the street with three shoes, two on yo’ feet and one in yo’ ass, sucker!” (Why have Page in only one scene?) Unfortunately, there is just not enough screen time for them to justify recommending this film as something more than a mild distraction for the brainless.
The Unrated footage in the film would be hard to pinpoint, although there was a graphic scene of two people dirty dancing naked. (Graphic, not funny) But whoever put this Collector’s Series together must not like the film either. There are only three features here and they’re three too many.
Deleted Scene “The Interrogation” (1:47): In this scene, Director Barclay was trying to add some of the style he learned shooting shows like NYPD BLUE and THE SHIELD, only problem is he forgot to add the funny!
Hood Movie Gumbo (4:27): This was obviously done for something like Comedy Central or Fox, as the Wayans Brothers explain the film and show clips. Is there any person on this planet that would consider this an extra?
The Wayans Brothers Behind The Scenes (3:22): This is more stuff from the Gumbo extra, repeating info and boring us to death. Who put this together, Stevie Wonder?
Calling this a Special Edition is an insult to all DVD’s that claim the same. There is absolutely nothing extra here, even for an avid fan of this film, much less for one who isn’t. And owning this implies multiple viewings, which doesn’t help. Remembering this film was much funnier than watching it again.