Meet the Blacks movie review: ‘F’ is for failure for this film | SierraSun.com

Meet the Blacks movie review: ‘F’ is for failure for this film

Lisa Miller
Special to Lake Tahoe Action

Mike Epps, middle, and the cast of Meet the Blacks.

Sadly, the most disappointing films are often the very comedies intended to lighten our mood. Perhaps mood-lightening didn't motivate "Meet The Blacks," a spoof of the thriller/horror series, "The Purge." (Arguably itself a spoof, "The Purge' succeeds as both frightening and funny).

Historically, comedy is an excellent place to address preconceived notions and stereotypes, but writers Nicole DeMasi and Deon Taylor (the latter of whom also directs) are unable to execute their ideas. What they deliver are unfinished thoughts, too ham-fisted to get a laugh.

Borrowing the premise of "The Beverly Hillbillies," a blended Chicago family is uprooted to their new mansion in Beverly Hills. Family members include Carl Black (Mike Epps), who has secretly ripped off someone else's illicit fortune, his Latino wife Lorena (Zulay Henao) and his two kids from a previous marriage. Once again we learn you can take the folks out of the hood, but you can't take the hood out of the folks.

Carl has brought along his fresh-out-of-prison bestie, Tyrone (DeRay Davis), who, predictably, seeks a roll in the hay with Carl's gold-digging Latina wife, a hottie attracted to the revealing, blingy clothes that make her reality-show-ready.

Carl's teenage daughter is fixated on hiding her sex-and-party boyfriend, a hair comb wearing lug who's managed to follow the family to their new Beverly Hills abode. Finally, Carl's prepubescent son Carl Jr. (Alex Henderson), seems normal enough, but this makes him uninteresting to the writers, who proceed to ignore him.

The joke is that the family's Beverly Hills arrival perfectly dovetails with the start of "The Purge," twelve hours during which all crimes, including murder, are legal.

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While Carl assumes they are safe in their upscale neighborhood, he's underestimated the displeasure of his neighbors (beware those bearing Napa Sonoma gift baskets), not to mention the very bad elements determined to hunt down Carl, no matter where he goes.

Given the family's chaotic and disagreeable state, we have every reason to hope they are purged along with this movie that ought to have been killed months before it reached any cinema.

On its opening weekend the film came in eighth, barely breaking $4 million at the box office. This is because perhaps two jokes hit their marks, leaving 50 or so to miss it by several counties. To Meet The Blacks is to wish you were anywhere else, doing anything else — unless you're a gifted napper undisturbed by yelling, cursing and gunfire.

MEET THE BLACKS

Bomb!! — F

Directed By Deon Taylor

Starring Mike Epps, Mike Tyson, George Lopez, Perez Hilton, Zulay Henao, DeRay Davis, Charlie Murphy, Andrew Bachelor, Bresha Webb, Alex Henderson, Lil Duval

Freestyle Releasing, Rated R, Comedy, 90 minutes