White Chicks

For a movie from gifted comedian Keenan Ivory Wayans, White Chicks sure is tame. Wayans first came to prominence with his hit sitcom In Living Color, and went on to direct movies like Scary Movie and Scary Movie 2. What they all have in common is that they were hilarious and outrageous. They pushed the boundaries of comedies, using toilet humor in a way such that it is both gross and funny. White Chicks does not approach that level. Watching it is like watching Wayans through a soft-focus lens. The basic stuff is there, but it's a little fuzzy around the edges. The jokes are infrequently funny, and the story even gets a little too mushy near the end. Worst, the execution of the primary concept is not done well. The premise is that two black FBI agents go undercover as socialite heiresses in order to foil their kidnapping.

Shawn (Scary Movie 2, Scary Movie) and Marlon Wayans (The Ladykillers, Scary Movie 2) are Kevin and Marcus Copeland, two agents with a reputation for screwing things up. Their latest assignment is to protect to Brittany (Maitland Ward, A Bold Affair, Dish Dogs) and Tiffany Wilson (Anne Dudek, The Human Stain), two spoiled girls loosely modeled on the Hilton sisters. On the way to the Hamptons, there is a small accident, and Brittany and Tiffany find themselves with small cuts, which, to these spoiled women means they cannot go. In order to save their jobs, Shawn and Marlon get their FBI scientist friends to use the latest technology to turn them into women. This means latex masks, contact lenses, and spray-on white skin. Although the Wayans brothers look funny in their new digs, they look nothing like women. Ward and Dudek were made up to look a little strange, and the Wayans' actually resemble them, but the entire joke is that the Copelands resemble women, which they do not.

Still, somehow everybody is fooled, including their close friends, enemies, and basketball star Latrell Spencer (Terry Crews, Soul Plane, Baadasssss!). Crews is the most amusing aspect of White Chicks. Because of his look and physique, he always plays some sort of criminal or jerk who uses his muscles. Here, he goes all the way against type, playing a sensitive, almost girly man obsessed with Marcus. His last line is quite possibly the funniest piece of dialogue in the movie. Otherwise, all three Wayans', Andrew McElfresh, Michael Anthony Snowden (Scary Movie 2), and Xavier Cook fill their script with semi-humorous jabs at society life and two black men trying to be rich white women. Much of the humor is supposed to come from Kevin and Marcus' attempts to pass themselves off as women. They go shopping, listen to music, participate in a fashion show, and try to fend off lusty men.

It's been nice watching Marlon slowly develop into an actor. Then he decides to go back to comedy, and worse, makes an unfunny movie. There are only so many laughs that Keenan can get from watching two men pretend to be women. Anything after that requires some thought and originality, which is missing from White Chicks. Yes, it's amazing how much Shawn and Marlon look like women, but there is also a gaping chasm between what they look like and what real women look like. Special effects can only go so far. After that, it's up to the viewer. The Wayans' look a little too weird for their own good.

Haro Rates It: Not That Good.
1 hour, 45 minutes, Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual humor, language, and some drug content.

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