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Pootie Tang

movie review out of 4 Movie Review: Pootie Tang

Starring: Lance Crouther, Chris Rock
Director: Louis C.K.
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 83 Minutes
Release Date: June 2001
Genre: Comedy

*Also starring: Conan O'Brien, Andy Richter, Robert Vaughn, Wanda Sykes, Dave Attell, Reg E. Cathey

Review by Steve Rhodes
1 star out of 4

You can say this much for POOTIE TANG, written and directed by Louis C.K., it isn't pretentious. Pootie Tang (Lance Crouther) is a crime fighter rather in the spirit of AUSTIN POWERS but with an extra dose of silliness and set in a black ghetto rather than in swinging London. The jokes, while always outrageous, are rarely funny. Its humor tires not too long after the beginning credits have finished rolling.

Typical of the level of the comedy is the way that Pootie's father, known as Daddy Tang (Chris Rock), dies. Daddy Tang, we are told, is "only" the third employee to have been mauled to death by a gorilla at the steel mill where he works.

About the only funny bit occurs when Dirty D. (Reg E. Cathey) arrives on the scene. Driving a big Cadillac that looks like it has just been through a mud storm, Dirty D. is exactly like his name, right now to a fur coat covered in dirt. When he raises his arms, dust fills the air like the fog rolling in off the ocean. He's a bad dude, but no match for superhero Pootie Tang, who can dodge a hail of bullets with his dance-like undulations.

Like a biography, we flashback to see Pootie when he was a 6-year-old boy. Swaggering through the neighborhood in his fur coat, leather pants and sunglasses, he attracts the local women like flies to honey, even if they're a couple of decades older.

Much of the movie concerns Pootie's war with the evil Dick Lecter (Robert Vaughn) who runs a large conglomerate. When Pootie's PSAs (Public Service Announcements) encouraging healthy lifestyles cause the sales of Lecter Burgers, Lecter Cigarettes and Lecter Whiskey to plummet, the battle begins. By this time, however, you will have long since lost any interest in the movie.

POOTIE TANG runs 1:20. It is rated PG-13 for sex-related material, language and drug content and would be acceptable for teenagers.

Copyright 2001 Steve Rhodes

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