Sendup of 'hood movies is repetitive and sexist

January 17, 1996|By Matthew Gilbert | Matthew Gilbert,BOSTON GLOBE

This sendup of 'hood movies feels about as funny -- and as long -- as its title.

If there is potential in a film that ridicules the John Singleton-styled black-men-are-doomed movies like "Poetic Justice," "Jungle Fever" and "Straight Out of Brooklyn," "Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood" squanders it on a series of repetitive gags and sexist jokes. What chuckles there are -- the young teen-age hero's name is Ashtray (Shawn Wayans), his father is also a teen-ager, his best friend is Loc Dog (Marlon Wayans) and he wears pacifiers and condoms in his hair -- get old the second or third time around.

The archetypal 'hood plot follows Ashtray's efforts to get out of his father's house in South Central, where his mother has left him because "There ain't no positive black females in these movies."

Ashtray meets Dashiki, a braided poet with seven children who all ask Ashtray, in unison, "Are you my daddy?" A gang war erupts, pitting Ashtray and his friends against the ex-convict Toothpick and his friends, and one bad guy is flattened, literally. Much fun is had at the expense of the women's physical functions and attributes -- Dashiki's toes, in particular -- and Ashtray's handicapped friend, Crazy Legs.

For future use, here's a handy abbreviation of the movie's lengthy title: "Don't."

'Don't ...'

Starring Shawn Wayans, Marlon Wayans

Directed by Paris Barclay

Released by Miramax

Rated R (explicit language, sexual situations)

1/2 *

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