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Undercover Brother

118 minutes
action, comedy

Personal logo Jlundberg Supporting Member of TMP writes:

Yep – good satire

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This entry created 23 September 2020. Last revised on 23 September 2020.

1,809 hits since 23 Sep 2020
©1994-2024 Bill Armintrout
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Undercover Brother

Rating: gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star no star (9.25)

Shall we go back in time to when American race relations could be the subject of comedy?

Undercover Brother (played by Eddie Griffin) is a vigilante acting on behalf of the black community, who is living life as if it is still the 70s (funkadelic!). He's got the wardrobe, the afro, and a yellow convertible with secret gadgets.

While on a mission to break into a bank's systems (to help blacks get mortgages), Undercover Brother accidentally interferes with another group's simultaneous hacking attempt! This is how Undercover Brother discovers (and is recruited by) The Brotherhood, a secret organization which exists to promote the African-American Way of Life. Their enemy is The Man, whose organization is determined to stop black progress.

This movie is designed as a lighthearted comedy, meaning that it is somewhat sanitized. 'The Man' sounds WASPish, and his zany henchman Mr. Feather is apparently British – no 'white supremacists' or southern bigots in sight! Similarly, the only character advocating for revolution and to burn things down is Conspiracy Brother (Dave Chappelle), who is depicted as being a bit crazy!

Also in the movie are Sistah Girl (Aunjanue Ellis), the top Brotherhood agent; The Chief (Chi McBride), Brotherhood head; Lance (Neil Patrick Harris), intern at The Brotherhood; Smart Brother (Gary Anthony Williams), Brotherhood specialist; and White She Devil (Denise Richards), agent for The Man.

The world is shocked when Gen. Warren Boutwell (a Colin Powell-type played by Billy Dee Williams), instead of announcing his run for the presidency, launches a chain of fried-chicken restaurants! Somehow, The Man must be involved! Can The Brotherhood discover and foil their nefarious plot?

This is a fun movie that doesn't take itself too seriously, and most of the jokes are good. All of the performers do well in their roles. I thought it got a little slow in the middle, when White She Devil seduces Undercover Brother and he loses his funk.

Can you game it? Surprisingly, yes! This would be easy to game with any of the rulesets that cover Pulp, superhero or secret agent gaming (Undercover Brother is somewhere between James Bond and Batman). Just remember to keep it light, silly and fun!

Recommended – and you'll never look at mayonnaise the same again…