Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood is a parody film, in the tradition of Airplane, The Naked Gun, and I’m Gonna Get You Sucka…unfortunately, most of the time the film seems to be virtually humorless. The target genre this time is the “Growing up in the ‘hood” films, which are ripe for parody, being so prevalent these days. Don’t Be a Menace points its satiric sights upon the films of John Singleton, the Hughes Brothers, and the granddaddy of them all, Spike Lee. Shawn Wayans plays Ashtray, the naive youth left to mostly fend for himself in the ‘hood (here presented as a near idyllic suburbia, rather than the inner-city slums). His cousin, Loc Dogg, is a crazed lunatic (Marlon Wayans) who attempts to teack Ashtray the ropes. However, things go astray when Ashtray falls for Dashiki, a beautiful single mother of seven. Of course, along the way, all of the typical things happen (convenience store shootouts, random police harassment, drive by shootings, and an assortment of house parties). There is some humor in Don’t Be a Menace, but it is mostly buried in extended caricatures, and overabundant boring scenes, or left as undeveloped, potentially hillarious scenes. Shawn mainly plays the straight man, and leaves most of the goofiness to others. Marlon muggs excessively as the wild and crazy Loc. The pair obviously have some talent, but this movie doesn’t make much use of it.
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