AUTHOR, JOURNALIST, TV PERSONALITY
Meet The Blacks
1 April 2023
Meet the Blacks is a send up of The Purge that fails to rise to the comedic occasion yet still fares better than the endless series of profane one-liners Marlon Wayans offerings often achieve!
Parodies can be summarised as mini time capsules of their year that imitate a particular genre, Horror predominantly, with deliberate exaggeration for comic effect and the addition of gross visual humour throughout. These celluloid snapshots of tired themes are more often than not criminally bad with scatterbrained ideas that, thanks to sloppy writing, never really come to fruition. By the time the parody has eventually been released the movie it is imitating has long gone and often been forgotten by the viewer, ultimately demonstrating that the film styles these parodies are sending up are as played out as their jokes.
Meet the Blacks, directed by Deon Taylor (Chain Letter), is a send-up of The Purge and follows Carl Black (Mike Epps, Uncle Buck), who moves his family from Chicago to Beverly Hills after stealing a giant stack of cash and marijuana from a gangster. With the Blacks finally settled into their new surroundings they soon begin to notice very odd behaviour in their new neighbourhood, but that’s only half of their problem within the gated community! As dusk approaches President El Bama (George Lopez, Lopez) throws another spanner into the Black family works and announces that the annual purge has begun. “Daddy, they Purgin’!”
For a low-budget parody Meet the Blacks’ production value is above average and despite the film’s assembled talent being made up of a solid cast of both first and secondary players with some interesting cameos, director Deon Taylor and his co-writer, Nicole DeMasi (Taken), have aimed much lower with the film’s comedy. What they do balance out nicely is the social commentary on integration and gated communities, but all attempts outside of that narrative fail.
Epps, who’s been given the torch of carrying the spoof, is not the most charismatic lead. When clock points are thrown at the screen without any flow you need a comedian that will make you laugh. Without that the proceedings are doomed and Epps is just not up to the job of turning the unfunny material on its head. A Purge spoof should have been easy to make and mildly amusing, but there’s no wit, no charm, and there’s rarely any fun to be found. The ten comedy concept exercises resort to toothless satire, N-word-laced insults and fail-safe visual gags. These include Lavell Crawford (Breaking Bad) coming down the Blacks’ chimney followed by flatulence and a St. Nicolas one-liner, and a white guy who feels comfortable repeating a laundry list of stereotypes who, upon realising he crossed the line when using the N-word, pleads for forgiveness on his transgression, a transgression we have seen countless times from YouTubers over the past few years – PewDiePie and Tana Mongeau, to name but a few.
Overall, Meet the Blacks is nowhere near as bad as Marlon Wayans (Haunted House) repeat offending, but it isn’t all that good either, jam packed with mirthless skits weaved together with tired pop-culture callbacks that include a cameo from Perez Hilton (blogger). Meet the Blacks just doesn’t hit the spot. If you’re seeking a mix of fearless humour that spoofs up the latest box-office blockbusters my advice is to check out Funny or Die (The Purge: Ladies Night) – they certainly know how to deliver on giggles and raise a smile or two.
Meet The Blacks is available on VOD and DVD now.
Foreclosed is a suburban home invasion movie that tries hard to develop a voyeurism angle with very little tools to achieve its end goal, and the dime store dialogue is the film’s final nail in its third act coffin!
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Review / Published 4 August 2023 @ 20:00 PM