Little Man

Cast:
Marlon Wayans as Calvin
Linden Porco as Calvin (Body)
Gabriel Pimental as Calvin (Body)
Shawn Wayans as Darryl
Tracy Morgan as Percy
Kerry Washington as Vanessa
John Witherspoon as Pops
Lochlyn Munro as Greg
Fred Stoller as Richard
Damien Wayans as Officer Wilson
Gary Owen as Officer Jankowski
Chazz Palminteri as Walken
John DeSantis as Bruno
Dave Sheridan as Rosco

Directed by Kenan Ivory Wayans

Review:
Calvin (Marlon Wayans) is the world’s smallest, meanest criminal. When a diamond heist goes wrong, he’s forced to masquerade as an abandoned baby in order to infiltrate the home of Darryl (Shawn Wayans) and Vanessa (Kerry Washington) and get the diamond back before the mobster that hired him (Chazz Palminteri) finds him.

It has a few well thought out role reversals that it uses to some satiric effect — Vanessa is the workaholic in the family who doesn’t want to be saddled with kids yet, while Darryl is the homemaker who wants kids as soon as possible. That is unfortunately as close to interesting as “Little Man” gets, and it goes downhill real fast from there. Most of the humor is incredibly juvenile and puerile, which someone probably likes — and more power to them — but for everyone else it’s a long hard slog of urine and crotch-punching jokes. There’s no road so low that “Little Man” is afraid go down. If only it were funny. Or original.

It plays like nothing so much as an extended “In Living Color” sketch that’s been stretched to fill 90 minutes, and it feels as thin as it sounds like it should. By the umpteenth variation of mistaking Calvin for a baby the joke has long, long stopped being funny.

The players themselves are all about as bland as can be (even in the gross-out segments) as is the story which, despite it’s trappings, is a fairly standard family film. The effect of putting Wayans’ head on the little bodies — provided by Linden Porco and Gabriel Pimental — isn’t that good, but at least it’s not that good all the time, to the point where eventually you don’t even notice it anymore.

It’s really too bad. The Wayans were funny once upon a time, but their humor hasn’t evolved much since their “In Living Color” days, and what was funny 15 years ago is a bit long in the tooth now. They do manage one stab at those glory days with an actually successful piece of satire about a black police officer (Damien Wayans) who incorporates all of the worst cop stereotypes. It’s funny and it’s got some teeth to it, but it’s only about 1 minute out of 90, and the rest is just no good.

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