Directed by Damien Wayans
Any good will remaining from that movie will be thrown out the window when in the first minute of “Dance Flick” one street dancer literally pisses in the face of another, and further inanity might make even the most steadfast critic want to shoot themselves in the head (or at least walk out). Fortunately, things do eventually get better, but only because there is no possible way for it to get worse. (This isn’t “The Love Guru” or “Meet the Spartans,” movies that are literally unwatchable.)
Despite returning to the high school setting of “Scary Movie,” it’s hard to match the genius of the Wayans’ earlier spoof movies, maybe because the actual Wayans BrothersKeenen, Marlon and Shawnonly show up in small roles and not very good ones either. Even so, there’s little question that the Wayans know their source material even if they’re not just making fun of the obvious candidates like “You Got Served,” “Step Up” or “Save the Last Dance.” Over the course of the movie’s thankfully brief 83 minutes, they also poke fun at musicals like “High School Musical” and “Hairspray” and “Dreamgirls” and throw in a few “Ray” and “Roll Bounce” jokes. The movie generally seems to lack focus and is all over the place–was that a leftover “Final Destination” gag?–and it relies so much on dumb, sophomoric bathroom humor and double entendres that it never quite achieves the level of raunchy laughs the first “Scary Movie” achieved so successfully.
Instead, it feels like the Wayans have saved up every single celebrity joke they’ve thought up over the past few years and then piled them into this movie. How could anyone seriously make a Halle in a Catwoman costume gag or a joke about Imus’s “Nappy Headed Hoes” comment and not realize how dated they were? (At least that’s one, and probably the only, good thing that can be said about the makers of “Disaster Movie”; they churn their crapfests out so fast their bad jokes remain timely.)
The movie isn’t a complete loss, because Damon Wayans Jr. is clearly the younger generation Wayans who actually shows some comic talent, and Shoshana Bush is almost as good as Anna Farris in the “Scary Movies” in terms of being able to take anything thrown at her by the Wayans and going full-out regardless of how humiliating the gag may be. There is a clear chemistry between the two of them that allows for some fun moments when they’re spoofing the romantic element of dance movies.
There are some scenes which are just painful to watch, most of them involving David Alan Grier as an obese gangster named Sugar Bear who is essentially one extended fat joke that isn’t funny once, let alone in his three appearances. There’s also wasted talent like Amy Sedaris playing an inane dance teacher named Mrs. Cameltoé, whose main joke involves… well, we’ll leave that up to the imagination, but it’s pretty tasteless even before her final disgusting gag.
Affion Crockett does his usual gangsta-wannabe schtick as seen in “Soul Men,” and Essence Atkins isn’t breaking any new comedy ground as Megan’s friend, a single mother who is constantly abusing her baby. The actual baby in the role spends much of the film with a shell-shocked look on its face that clearly says, “Get me the hell out of here.” There are many times, you’ll be feeling his pain.
Overall, the production values aren’t great, making it obvious the younger Wayans is directing his first movie. Even though there are a couple amusing surprises along the way, for the most part, the cast always goes for the most obvious dumb laughs, telegraphed by their predictability. When one openly gay character breaks out into a musical dance number proclaiming his homosexuality to the theme from “Fame,” it’s obvious the Wayans don’t care about taking things too far, even if it means offending and insulting the audience they’re trying to entertain.
The Bottom Line: