Marcus (Marlon Wayans) and Kevin (Shawn Wayans) are two bumbling FBI agents
looking for a way to get back into the good graces of their superiors. When an
opportunity to escort two high-profile socialites, Tiffany (Anne Dudek) and
Brittany Wilson (Maitland Ward), to the Hamptons comes along, the partners take
the assignment, but accidentally injure the sisters, forcing them to cancel
plans for a fashion show they were to attend. To avoid trouble, Marcus and Kevin
dress up as the Wilson sisters and head to the Hamptons to cover for the missing
Keenan Ivory Wayans has had a heck of a time trying to top his extraordinary
filmmaking debut, the blacksploitation spoof, "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka." Flush
with cash from the lamentable success of his two "Scary Movie" films, Wayans
returns with "White Chicks," (IMDb listing) a PG-13 film that isn't all that removed from the
R-rated potty and racial humor that littered "Scary Movie." While "Chicks" is
nothing to write home about, this is the closest Wayans has come yet to rivaling
"Sucka's" laugh count.
Of course, to get to those laughs, one has to get through Shawn and Marlon
Wayans. The two brothers, routinely employed by older brother Keenan, aren't the
most skillful comedians around. Their haphazard, hyperactive approach to jokes
(six screenwriters are credited on this film) and story (the picture's baffling
narrative ends with a shootout) is what drags "White Chicks" down the most. The
Wayans love their toilet humor, and "Chicks" isn't shy to parade an endless
stream of flatulence and sex gags, all of which fail miserably.
The central idea behind "Chicks" allows a giant opportunity for rich girl
satire, and the film does take its shots at the Hilton sisters, along with the
rest of the overprivileged dim bulbs that MTV bases entire network schedules
around. Those scenes of mockery are great, including one bit where one of the
Wilson posse has a volcanic panic attack about her cellulite in a dressing room.
The Wayans are very good at making fun of Caucasians and the wealthy, but refuse
to propose marriage to this questionably superior line of humor. "Chicks" stops
dead all the time so Marlon can have a gross-out moment where he uses his teeth
to get rid of a hangnail on his big toe or Shawn can get thrown around by an
attack dog; deeply unfunny stuff. And I won't get in to the "lactose intolerant"
scene featuring Marlon bug-eyed on a toilet. That alone should get Keenan banned
from directing ever again.
Another curiosity of the film is the make-up jobs that turn Shawn and Marlon
into the Wilson sisters. Looking like a cross between Kira, the female Gelfling
from "The Dark Crystal," and platinum-haired boogeymen from a particularly
intense pepperoni pizza-induced nightmare, the Wayans don't make terribly
convincing white chicks. Yes, they have the Hiltonesque mannerisms down pat
(which includes unrelenting cruelty to those below their class, laced with
high-pitched giggles), but the faces are so far from duplicating their intended
doppelgangers that suspension of disbelief in unheard of amounts must be in
place before any audience member walks into a theater.
While the two Wayans jump around for attention, it's the supporting talent that
makes the biggest impression in "White Chicks." Nice, brightly played turns by
Wilson sister friends Busy Phillips and Jessica Cauffiel help sell the illusion
that Marcus and Kevin are truly infiltrating this elite world. But Terry Crews
("Friday After Next") owns the film as a pro basketball player who has the hots
for Marcus in his Wilson make-up. Crews is silly and over-the-top, but never
obnoxious (Marlon and Shawn should learn that trait), and his screen time
elicits laughs at every appearance; singing along with Vanessa Carlton's white
chick anthem, "A Thousand Miles," being the film's uproarious comedic highlight.
Without Crews, "White Chicks" would be about as entertaining as the real Hilton
Filmfodder Grade: B-