Undercover Brother

Rated NR

It appears Eddie Griffin is trying with Undercover Brother to get a jump on Beyoncé Knowles (in the forthcoming Austin Powers in Goldmember) for "Outrageous Afro of the Summer" honors. Further comparison between the nostalgia-pandering of both flicks will likely be a pastime among reviewers during coming weeks. This film does for the 1970s what the Austin Powers pictures do for the ’60s, but not as entertainingly. Undercover Brother is not so much a parody of ’70s blaxploitation crime fighters as it is a creepily forced burlesque. Denise Richards plays a typical cardboard floozy, and Aunjanue Ellis (Men of Honor) isn’t much better, although she’s much prettier. The talents of Billy Dee Williams, Chi McBride, Neil Patrick Harris, David LaChappelle and James Brown (!) are wasted. And the presence of Chris Kattan as bad guy Mr. Feather only reminds us that second-rate Saturday Night Live skits are better than this.

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