Well as you know I am on the cutting edge of our Cinematic type culture here, so let me tell you this for sure. This movie, which had a release that made BONES look like HENRY fucking PORTER, will be discovered on video and cherished right and left by every motherfucker and his uncle for years to come.
This is not a great movie but it’s a funny one and a unique one. You got basically a super hero story here starring a young black fella named Pootie Tang, played by some Writer from the chris rock show. Chris Rock show is another chapter in the story of people claiming that a show is really good, in fact so good you gotta pay hbo to see it. Hello – tv is supposed to be free. Until you put it on the FREE airwaves I have no choice but to assume that the sopranos, oz, sex and the city, the chris rock show and etc. are all crap just like everything else on tv.
And please don’t e-mail me to tell me the sopranos is good, unless you are gonna include money that I can use to get hbo. Thanks.
Anyway point is Pootie Tang is a super hero but he doesn’t inherit money like Batman. He doesn’t get bit by a magic spider like Superman. He doesn’t have a green lantern power decoder ring, or a Thor the mighty hammer god weapon, or an inherited identity like The Phantom or Zorro or Superboy or Popeye and Sons. The only thing Pootie’s dad has to pass down to him when he dies is the belt he used to whoop young Pootie’s ass. Instilled with the energy of this ass beating Pootie is able to use the belt to defeat evil. As long as he has right on his side he can use the belt to spank people.
The slim plot is basically your stick it to the man blaxploitation good vs. evil story, while the filmatism is a hilarious parody of rap video cliches. The love interest, Biggie Shorty, tends to start dancing at the drop of a hat, or even when the hat is still on the head, and the camera will zoom in and out to help.
As for Pootie his whole character is that he talks in his own indecipherable pidgin ebonics, but, of course, everything he says becomes a nationwide catch phrase. I think this is making a statement about how young white people are fascinated by anything black people say, even if they don’t understand what in fuck’s name it means (or, in this case, even if it doesn’t mean anything at all). Because this isn’t really a super hero parody, or even an homage to blaxploitation pictures, as much as it is a critique of the entertainment media’s commodification of black culture for white audiences from the ’70s to the ’90s. In my opinion.
More importantly though POOTIE TANG doesn’t puss out and have Pootie make a big speech in English at the end or some stupid shit like that. This isn’t a Kevin Smith picture in other words and Pootie, no matter how rough the going gets, never lets out a sentence or even phrase that makes any damn sense. This is the polar opposite of the hip dialogue comedy that you motherfuckers on the internet like. But you will like it anyway, because you can’t escape this picture, people. You won’t.
Even as we speak, the cult following is growing. This one is going to become a movie everyone has seen much like the first Friday picture or the one about the fellows in the office. Have I ever been wrong about this kind of thing, no I haven’t. POOTIE TANG is here, so get used to it
VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.