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Thursday, 31 January 2019

Retro Review: Pootie Tang (2001)

Pootie Tang
Cast: Lance Crouther, Jennifer Coolidge, Wanda Sykes, Robert Vaughn, J.B Smoove, Chris Rock
Genre: Comedy
U.S Box Office Gross: over $3 million

Plot: cool guy Pootie Tang is a crime-fighting recording artist. Despite the fact his strange style of speech is understood by a select few, he becomes a hero to the children he protects

'Far From Patooey, Yet Not Hilarious Enough Either'

As far as comedy movies go, Pootie Tang is as scattershot as it is largely boring and following in the tradition of comedy TV sketches which were given the big screen treatment, such as a Night At The Roxbury, Coneheads, this one sadly underwhelms as well. 

Based on the initial 5 min skit on The Chris Rock Show, the laughs, some courtesy of Wanda Sykes and Chris Rock, are few yet barely and well-earned and whilst it has this surreal, unique feel, this is more of a one-joke affair. It has been damned by Variety's Todd McCarthy as 'amateurish', although concept-wise, it is something one mustn't take seriously at face value and that it's very low brow. 

The main character of Pootie is a triple threat: a musician, actor and folk hero all rolled into one and man of many daring outfits and who utters words that are based on or are reminiscent of hip hop and blaxploitation movies that makes him come across as one cool dude. His public service announcement efforts have led to Lector Corporation's profits to tumble and with that, Dick Lector enlists his temptress/femme fatale to take down Pootie, steal his belt and force him to do liquor ads & destroy his clean-cut image. 

Pootie Tang is like Austin Powers, only minus the wit and jokes and consistent humour, but for the cherry pie scene and Chris Rock dressed as a corn, this should have amounted to a whole lot more and better as well. Another issue is the sketchy and rather unflattering treatment of women and the use of terms, ho*s and b****es, which did take away some of my enjoyment. When it came to the performances, Wanda Sykes's Biggie Shorty with that red hair made me laugh on occasions & whose goal is to sleep with Pootie, whilst Chris Rock was all right; although I wished the supporting characters were utilised better, rather than just shoehorning them into the film.  

Final Verdict:

Being a satire, the film isn't too bad and thus, it deserves several rewatches from me; I just wished it had been a tad funnier and even at 81 mins, the pacing is too slow, it made Pootie Tang feel like a 2-hour movie.


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