A strange combination of urban melodrama and comedy concert film, "Foolish" follows in the footsteps of the Fat Boys' "Disorderlies" and Vanilla Ice's "Cold as Ice" in falling firmly on its face while trying to cash in on the popularity of a hip-hop star.

A strange combination of urban melodrama and comedy concert film, “Foolish” follows in the footsteps of the Fat Boys’ “Disorderlies” and Vanilla Ice’s “Cold as Ice” in falling firmly on its face while trying to cash in on the popularity of a hip-hop star. While low-budgeter could post decent opening weekend numbers if enough Master P fans show up, Gotham indie Artisan’s hope for a larger slice of the urban pie will prove fruitless once word gets out that this is a badly stitched together mishmash of old jokes and even older plot contrivances. Video looks more promising.

Film derives its title from its lead character (Eddie Griffin), a foul-mouthed comedian who says to his manager things like, “I don’t care about the money. For me it’s all about the comedy.” His older brother, Fifty Dollah (Master P), is some sort of lieutenant in a gang, but we never see what he actually does.

Several story points are recycled from other films and land here half-developed: Fifty Dollah crossing his crime boss (Andrew Dice Clay), a girl (Amy Petersen) who breaks one brother’s heart by dating another and a grandmother (Marla Gibbs) who is still trying to get her wayward grandson to heed her pseudo spiritual advice.

Central plot circles around the idea that Foolish is squandering his great talent for humor, yet said talent is almost never on screen. Most of his material is of the jokes-about-race-and-penis-size variety that sound like early-’80s Eddie Murphy warmed over mid-’70s Dolomite.

Not until the pic’s last concert scene does Foolish start using material that sounds remotely fresh, but by that time, it’s much too late to save the film.

While his jokes may be stale, Griffin has a good delivery style and manages to make the self-destructive Foolish charismatic. Master P, on the other hand, is deadweight on screen, the multi-platinum rapper hardly making an impression despite a full set of gold teeth and diamond-studded eyeglasses.

Tech credits are fair to poor. While the costumes and sets are both good for the shoestring budget, the camerawork is dull, and the actors are consistently difficult to hear, despite the fact that the boom mike falls into the frame more times than you can count.

Foolish

Production

An Artisan Entertainment release of a No Limit Films presentation of a Shooting Star production. Produced by Jonathan Heuer. Executive producer, Master P. Co-producer, Jeff Clanagan. Directed by Dave Meyers. Screenplay, Master P.

Crew

Camera (color), Steve Gainer; editor, Chris Davis; music, Wendy Melvoin, Lisa Coleman; production designer, Chuck Conner; art director, Brian Livesay; set designer, Michelle Fornabi; set decorator, Tim Colohan; costume designer, Jhane Isaacs; sound, Jon Ailetcher; line producer, M. Cevin Cathell; associate producer, Anthony Boswell; assistant director, Van Hayden; casting, Megalarge. Reviewed at the Clearview Cinemas Chelsea, N.Y., April 9, 1999. MPAA Rating: R. Running time: 96 MIN.

With

Miles "Foolish" Waise - Eddie Griffin Quentin "Fifty Dollah" Waise - Master P Desiree - Amy Petersen Giovanni - Frank Sivero Charisse - Daphnee Lynn Duplaix Numbers - Jonathan Banks El Dorado Ron - Andrew Dice Clay Odetta Waise - Marla Gibbs Paris - Sven-Ole Thorsen Jimmy Beck - Bill Nunn Studio Producer - Bill Duke AJ Johnson - Himself
Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more
Post A Comment 0