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DON'T BE A MENACE TO SOUTH CENTRAL WHILE DRINKING YOU'RE JUICE IN THE HOOD

DON'T BE A MENACE TO SOUTH CENTRAL WHILE DRINKING YOUR JUICE IN THE HOOD1996

You can watch the trailer here

It's really tough to make a spoof that touches on the source material while being hilarious without diving into silliness. Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood, which I will simply call Don't Be a Menace for the rest of this post, is a spoof from the Wayans brothers. They wanted to create a spoof of coming-of-age "hood" films, and they predominantly take situations presented in 1991's Boyz n the Hood and 1993's Menace II Society.

Don't Be a Menace, which was directed by Paris Barclay, follows Ashtray (Shawn Wayans) as he chronicles his life in the hood. He always aspires to leave the hood and finds a potential path when he meets Dashiki (Tracey Charelle Jones) who also wants to leave the hood. However, he has quite a few bases set in the hood, with friends like Loc Dog (Marlon Wayans) and Preach (Chris Spencer) rounding out his gang. The film basically shows a number of situations that one would be familiar with if they have seen the aforementioned films (and I strongly recommend watching those before Don't Be a Menace, if you can; you'll get more out of the spoof experience).

The screenplay does touch on quite a few of the "hood" film conventions, and it crafts a comedic twist to a number of situations that I recognized from the other films. As I said previously, however, it's hard to create a spoof that doesn't delve into silliness, and unfortunately, silliness is a key component of Wayans brothers' films. In the beginning of the movie, I was rolling with laughter, but as it went along, I found those guffaws turning into chuckles and scoffs. It just got to be a little too much ridiculousness for me, but that's not to say that someone else wouldn't absolutely love it.

The acting, on the other hand, stays pretty consistent throughout the movie, and Shawn Wayans is definitely a good lead to follow. He brings a wide range of emotions to such a comedic role. Marlon is typical Marlon, if you've seen any of his other comedic ventures. I think the best parts of the films involve a number of cameos, from Keenen Ivory Wayans to Bernie Mac to Vivica A. Fox.

For me, Don't Be a Menace is a fun little movie that's good for a day of boredom, but it's definitely not making its way up the annals of great comedy for me. It's a solid little piece of entertainment, and that' probably exactly what the Wayans brothers were going for.

Movie Review Summary:
Grade: B-
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