“Martin’s” dedicated fans can rest easy as the fast-paced sitcom ricochets along its sure-fire course begun in August 1992. Martin Lawrence, who’s found himself involved in controversy over bawdy monologues on latenight programs and in his current concert pic, “You So Crazy,” shows he’s still a hot comic in the sitcom world.
In Bentley Kyle Evans’ shrewd script, Martin and fiancee Gail (Tisha Campbell) bicker so long and hard they miss the engagement party Pam (Tichina Arnold) is throwing for them.
Party, which goes on without them, gets out of hand because wild-and-woolly Jerome (also played by Lawrence) has brought Snoop Doggy Dogg, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Randall Cunningham (who acquits himself ably enough) and a rambunctious bunch to the affair. Brother Man (Reginald Ballard) adds a good spot as the guest who does as he pleases. Gail and Martin toss insults and finally get dressed and arrive at Pam’s post-party.
It’s frenzied and it’s silly and it’s open — and clean, as Mr. Lawrence’s crix can hear for themselves. Secondary roles are performed well, and Campbell’s Gail gives as well as she takes. Dogg’s guestint? He makes no dents but he passes muster.
Though no classic, “Martin” has style and drive, and is helped by Gerren Keith’s persuasive direction. Yet it all boils down to one person: Martin Lawrence, who’s a funny man even without raunchy material.