Pootie Tang

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Pootie Tang

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With the possible exception of snuff films, child pornography, and the work of toxic auteur Eric Schaeffer, few genres are less loved than movies based on television skit characters. Yet, even by comparison with A Night At The Roxbury, It's Pat!, and Superstar, Pootie Tang seems singularly misguided and ill-conceived. Part of the problem stems from its source material: In short bits on The Chris Rock Show, Lance Crouther's Pootie Tang character—a greasy-slick Rick James lookalike who speaks largely in an incomprehensible dialect—came across as merely puzzling and unfunny. Stretched out to feature length, Crouther's shtick borders on audience abuse, as the first-time film star attempts, without success, to carry a vehicle with barely enough structure, plot, and gags for a single skit, let alone a full-length motion picture. Written and directed by comedian Louis C.K. and produced by Chris Rock, Pootie Tang's first and only cinematic adventure finds the singer, role model, dancer, and crime fighter battling an evil corporation for the soul of America's youth. Deprived of his magical crime-fighting belt by a corporate Jezebel, Crouther becomes a hollow shell of his former self and retreats to the country, where he becomes involved with a sad-sack sheriff's daughter and plots his revenge. Pootie Tang suffers from a fatal case of the quirks, with C.K. confusing idiocy for absurdity and randomness for wit. A blaxploitation spoof, satire, anti-comedy, campy action-adventure, and would-be cult film all rolled up into one awful package, Pootie Tang boasts plenty of ideas but no structure or laughs. As inept in its own way as Battlefield Earth, the film has the unmistakable air of an inside joke that Crouther, C.K., Rock, and company never bothered to let the audience in on.

Filed Under: DVD

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