Saturday, May 23, 2015

Netflix Instant Queue Movie Review: "Pootie Tang" (2001)

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Movie"Pootie Tang"
Director: Louis C.K.
Year: 2001
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 1 hour, 21 minutes

Pootie Tang (Lance Crouther) is an actor, musician and local hero of sorts. He has always had a way with women ever since childhood. He protects the inner city from criminals with his trusty belt and teaches kids good values like healthy eating and staying away from drugs. Evil big corporations want Pootie to work for them and sell unhealthy junk food and alcohol to the masses, but he refuses. So, the leader of the big corporations Dick Lecter (Robert Vaughn) sends a woman named Ireenie (Jennifer Coolidge) to seduce and steal his belt, which is the source of his power, and force him to sign a promotional contract with evil corporate America. Now, Pootie must find a way to get his powers back and save his image. 

Louis C.K. directed this?!

Having a film about an inner city superhero who only speaks in jibberish with a belt that wields powers is either the dumbest idea ever or possibly the most brilliant idea known to man. We would have leaned towards the latter if the movie surrounding the Pootie Tang character had been better, but unfortunately, it just wasn't. There was so much potential for Louis C.K. to produce something much better, and ultimately, he failed to capitalize on what he both wrote and directed. Wait, he WROTE THIS, too?! What the hell, man!? If this was a full-on, over-the-top, outrageous satire of the blaxsploitation genre like "I'm Gonna Git You, Sucka" or "Black Dynamite," it could have been really great. Instead, what we get is this rather silly, toned-down movie that feels try-hard from the beginning. Sure, there are some laughs here and there, mostly at the sheer and utter insanity taking place on screen, but much of the film relies on running jokes that overstay their welcome. This movie hits best when it is poking fun at corporate America and popular culture, but misses big in other places. It's a film where the whole is actually worth less than the sum of its parts. When separated out, there are a few good concepts and even some great quotable lines that are fantastic, but when put together as a single, cohesive story, it just loses so much and comes off as disjointed, falling apart at the seams as quickly as it was shaggily stitched together. There are just too many dull moments in between what is gold. Apparently, it was based off of a short skit, and maybe it should have stayed that way.

On a side note, I have incorporated "cole me down on the panny sty" into my vernacular, so in a way, we have all won already.

My Rating: 4/10
BigJ's Rating: 4.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 5.1/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 29%
Do we recommend this movie: Meh.

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