Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content throughout, and language, 90 minutes
"Dance Flick" is an (unfunny) Wayans family affair
Before I begin this review, I mean no disrespect to the Wayans family. I really do like them, just not their movies. They're all immensely talented and funnier in person than many of their movies, which generally suck, except for parts of the first "Scary Movie." Their latest spoof, "Dance Flick" lampoons those silly but popular urban dance movies such as "Step Up" and "Stomp the Yard" and ends up one of their unfunniest, offensive films yet. Given, with the Wayans' you know what to expect: low-brow, mindless, very broadly played hardly cutting-edge comedy. The most memorable thing about "Dance Flick" is that you'll find a Wayans somewhere in front of or behind the camera.
Street dancer Thomas Uncles (Damon Wayans Jr.) is from the wrong side of the tracks, but his bond with the beautiful Megan White (Shoshana Bush) might help the duo realize their dreams as the enter in the mother of all dance battles. Many, many films are spoofed in the process, including: "Step Up," "Stomp the Yard," "You Got Served," "Save the Last Dance," "Dreamgirls," "Hairspray," "Little Miss Sunshine" and even "Ray" but of the 80 stretched-out choppy minutes of it, there's about 5 of it that's funny, and 3 of those minutes belong to the always evil, wickedly funny Amy Sedaris, who's the silliest of them of all with a rather large body part that I cannot describe in this family-friendly blog - but trust me - it's the funniest gag in a movie stuffed full of them.
It doesn't help that "Dance Flick" features some of the worst stereotypes of recent memory - blacks, whites, disabled, gays (one character sings "I'll be gay forever" to the tune of "Fame" - ugh), overweight - you name it they attempt to make fun of it but not successfully. Not to mention, the Wayans have somehow managed to push the boundaries of the PG-13 rating - if you take your children to this mess be prepared to do a lot of explaining, and not in the good sense. Add David Alan Grier in a fat suit to really stink up the proceedings even more.
The most proflic thing about "Dance Flick" isn't the number of films it spoofs but the number of Wayans involved in the productions. It's truly a family affair: Damon Wayans Jr. stars (and he bears strong resemblance to his father, who is interestingly the only Wayans family member missing from this production), and watch for cameos or small parts from Marlon (mildly funny as a teacher), Shawn (unfunny in nasally voice), Kim (blink and you'll miss her) and the funniest of them, Keenan Ivory Wayans (with a memorable impression of Steve Harvey full of bleached white chiclet teeth and loud suits). One of the nephews, Damien Wayans, directs (or at least gets credit for it), Craig Wayans (a cousin) helps write and produce along with Shawn, Marlon, Keenan Ivory and Damien. There are many, many other Wayans peppered throughout: Chaunte, Michael, Cara Mia and Gregory among them.
Even if no one but the Wayans family saw this movie, it'd probably still make money, and that very well might be the case. "Dance Flick," much like their other low-brow comedies, will most likely be a modest hit in spite of the fact that it really stinks. Definitely wait for a rental or buck movie, and even then you might feel cheated.