Malibu's Most Wanted
|Malibu's Most Wanted|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||John Whitesell|
|Produced by||Fax Bahr|
|Written by||Fax Bahr|
Damien Dante Wayans
|Music by||John Van Tongeren|
John Debney (themes)
|Edited by||Cara Silverman|
Bahr/Small Productions (uncredited)
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Box office||$34 million|
Malibu's Most Wanted is a 2003 American comedy film written by and starring Jamie Kennedy and co-starring Taye Diggs, Anthony Anderson, Blair Underwood, Regina Hall, Damien Dante Wayans, Ryan O'Neal, and Snoop Dogg. The film is written by the creators of MADtv, Fax Bahr and Adam Small, who also serve as producers. The character of "B-Rad" (a spoof of Eminem's character "B-Rabbit" in the film 8 Mile) originally appeared in Jamie Kennedy's hidden-camera show The Jamie Kennedy Experiment, but started in his stand-up routine when he was starting out.
The film centers on the family life of Bill Gluckman (Ryan O'Neal), a wealthy Jewish senator from Malibu, California who is running for the office of Governor of California. His son Brad (Jamie Kennedy) is a wannabe "Eminem", preferring to go by the nickname "B-Rad" despite leading a rich, sheltered life. As a result, members of Mr. Gluckman's political campaign become concerned that Brad's idiotic, outlandish behavior will ruin his father's chances at being elected.
The campaign team members hire two actors, Sean (Taye Diggs), and PJ (Anthony Anderson), who don't know any more about inner-city life than B-Rad, to act as gang members. They kidnap him, and take him to South Central Los Angeles, where PJ's cousin Shondra (Regina Hall) lives, and they hope B-Rad will be "scared white" after witnessing what inner city life is really like. The trio engages in mildly dangerous activities such as petty theft in order to convince B-Rad that he should return home.
The three involuntary become mixed up in a shootout between rival gangs, in which the leader of one of the gangs, Tec (Damien Dante Wayans), after kidnapping B-Rad, Sean and PJ for real, becomes impressed at intimidation tactics portrayed by B-Rad as a result of playing Grand Theft Auto. In the meantime, B-Rad develops feelings for Shondra, who at first is unimpressed and annoyed, but slowly begins to enjoy B-Rad's company.
B-Rad comes to find out that the entire excursion to head to South Central was a ploy in order for him to be scared of his current mannerisms. His recklessness leads to the trio becoming actually kidnapped by Tec and his crew, unbeknownst to B-Rad, who just assumes this is part of the act. When Bill Gluckman realizes that his son is in actual danger, he rushes over, and uses his trademark negotiating skills in order to ease the situation. In doing so, he realizes that he should just accept B-Rad for who he is, and decides that he will support his son unconditionally. The two reconcile, and when the family returns to Malibu, the film closes with Bill and B-Rad celebrating a Gluckman win in the Senate race.
- Jamie Kennedy as Brad "B-Rad G" Gluckman
- Taye Diggs as Sean "Bloodbath"
- Anthony Anderson as PJ "Tree"
- Regina Hall as Shondra
- Blair Underwood as Tom Gibbons
- Damien Dante Wayans as Tec
- Ryan O'Neal as Bill Gluckman
- Bo Derek as Bess Gluckman
- Jeffrey Tambor as Dr. Feldman
- Kal Penn as Hadji
- Snoop Dogg as Ronnie Rizzat (voice)
- Nick Swardson as Mocha
- Keili Lefkovitz as Monster
- Kellie Martin as Jen
- Greg Grunberg as Brett
- J. P. Manoux as Gary
- Terry Crews as 8 Ball
- Noel Gugliemi as Snuffy
The movie received mostly mixed reviews. It has a 31% on Rotten Tomatoes, with the general consensus being "There are some laughs, but not enough to sustain the running time."
The overarching themes that are discussed in Malibu's Most Wanted are both the exploitation of one culture by another, as well as the pressure to act within the norms of a given culture. Not only are these themes explored explicitly by the actions of B-Rad, but also by Sean and PJ. There is an expectation of how black people are portrayed in Hollywood that is explored in depth in the manner in which Sean and PJ practice acting "gangsta" in order to prove their blackness. In an interview conducted by Brian Balchack from Movieweb.com, Taye Diggs notes that "the interesting thing, being an African-American actor, is that we're constantly challenged with the duality of acting stereotypically “black,” and just acting. Matt Damon and Ben Affleck don't have to read for a role and ask themselves, ‘Okay, do they want me to say this word like this, or can I just be myself?' I know tons of black actors that didn't grow up in the ‘hood, and don't have their “gangster lingo” down, who take it to another level when they go in for a gangster role. I think that that's very interesting."
Malibu's Most Wanted was released on VHS and DVD on September 9, 2003.