“Meet The Blacks” Movie Review

Why can’t spoof movies just die? Seriously, they’re dead, or at least they should be. This zany attempt at spoof comedy co-written and directed by Deon Taylor saw a wide release over April Fools’ weekend, where it earned ten times its $900,000 budget. This could be typical for cheap horror films, but the fact that this is a spoof makes its success even more surprising, and almost perplexing. Stand-up comedian Mike Epps plays a down-on-his-luck dad, Carl Black, who has recently his family moved from Chicago to Beverly Hills. On the day they move in, The Purge begins, where all crime is legal for an entire night. This is the movie which is being spoofed. And to its credit… no, it just failed. To give you some perspective, I laughed harder and more often during the Wayans Brothers’ Scary Movie than I did here. To start off, Mike Epps is just not a very funny actor. He had no charisma or proper comedic timing whatsoever, which compromised his ability to carry this movie on his shoulders. He and his family members have absolutely zero chemistry throughout the entirety of the runtime. Zulay Henao is perfectly functional as the protagonist’s wife, though she could have been played by literally anyone who was offered the role. On the other hand, Bresha Webb and Alex Henderson, playing the son and daughter, respectively, annoyed me to no end. To be fair, they’re young and this arguably not a good showcase for their potential, but their characters are just so unlikable I can’t stand them even in one scene. The script is where everything falls flat. One of the many problems it suffers from is that several scenes felt as though they were created just to tell a single, isolated joke. Sometimes, it will play it extremely safe and take the easiest possible joke for the scenario. Other times, it will try way too hard, either to take itself seriously or hitting multiple jokes at once. I wonder if the writers had based the jokes and screenplay on their shared experiences watching films centered entirely around sex and toilet humor. Surprisingly, there’s a great deal of talent in the supporting cast and behind the scenes. The soundtrack, composed by East Coast rap legend, RZA, is filled primarily with modern hip-hop or R&B songs, which admittedly fit well with the setting of Central California. Onscreen, comedic actors such as Gary Owen, Charlie Murphy, Lil Duval, DeRay Davis, George Lopez, and even cameos from retired fighter Mike Tyson and rapper Snoop Dogg, are reserved in the sidelines. In a way, they all manage to outshine the main star of the movie, and some of them only have about 20 minutes of screentime. A couple of them do seem to have fun with their roles. But the ratio is very unbalanced. I have to believe that the filmmakers kidnapped their families and forced them to take the paycheck. Also, (like the actual movie, The Purge) it became evident at a point that the Purge is meaningless in this movie. The fact that some rich white neighbors of theirs want to break into their house and kill them is just like any other home invasion you’ve seen. A few alterations in the script and that entire circumstance didn’t need to happen. If anything, it’s just background noise, which becomes apparent when you hear a gunshot or explosion sound effect now and then. In all honesty, there were a couple of moments that made me chuckle and one in particular where I nearly died laughing. To save the torture, I’ll just tell you right now. Vine legend King Bach made a cameo appearance in the first 45 minutes as the daughter’s boyfriend, and when The Purge starts he starts a murderous rampage in the house. That was actually pretty funny. For the rest of it, however, Meet The Blacks is a boring comedic mess from top to bottom, and one of the worst movies released this year. If this had come out on straight-to-DVD, it would make sense, but the fact that it was released theatrically just makes it more painful to bear. One last side story that you might find both interesting and pitiful: Here in Texas, it is currently Cram Week, where we have to get in some last minute studying for the Final Exams. However, I absorbed 1 hour and 33 minutes of my life to set aside my assignments to watch Meet The Blacks on Netflix. So for those of you who say that I have absurdly stupid, jacked up priorities… Congratulations, you’ve guessed correctly.

Image result for meet the blacks poster

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