Undercover Brother

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"He's All Action"
  • PG-13
  • 2002
  • 1 hr 26 min
  • 5.9  (36,078)
  • 69

Undercover Brother is a 2002 American comedy film directed by Malcolm D. Lee and starring Eddie Griffin in the title role. The film is a parody of blaxploitation films and spy films of the 70s, following the story of a secret agent, codenamed Undercover Brother, who works for a secret organization known as The Brotherhood. The Brotherhood is a clandestine group of black agents dedicated to fighting The Man, a maniacal Caucasian villain determined to keep “the system” in place and prevent black people from rising to power. Undercover Brother, with his stylish afro and colorful wardrobe, is a hero of sorts, who uses his secret-agent skills to fight against General Boutwell, a corrupt leader who wants to brainwash black people into conforming to white standards and values.

The movie opens with a flashback to the 1970s, where we see how the Brotherhood was initially formed in response to the civil rights movement. They realize that the fight against racism and oppression must continue, covertly if necessary, even after the passing of laws that granted equal rights to African Americans.

Then the story jumps ahead to present day (i.e. 2002), where Undercover Brother and his team are on the trail of the sinister General Boutwell, who is using a secret drug called Black Man’s Kryptonite to brainwash prominent black leaders and entertainers into doing his bidding. Undercover Brother is initially tasked with spying on a beautiful, alluring woman known only as “The Man’s” assistant, but soon he is drawn into a larger conspiracy and a deeper mission of liberation.

The film is filled with over-the-top humor, satirical references to retro action movies, and non-stop action. Undercover Brother is not just a spy, he’s a superhero, whose abilities include everything from kung-fu fighting to dance-offs. And the villains are not just evil, they are cartoonishly ridiculous, using outrageous technology to accomplish their nefarious goals. Boutwell, for instance, has an army of identical white clones who he employs to carry out his plans, while The Man has a secret lair hidden deep underground, complete with waterfalls and vintage cars.

The cast is also notable, with Eddie Griffin giving a standout performance as Undercover Brother. Griffin is hilarious as a cross between James Bond and Shaft, oozing cool charm and infectious energy throughout the film. As his love interest, Denise Richards plays Pamela, a beautiful and brainy CIA agent who works with the Brotherhood to stop Boutwell’s plan. Richards does a great job of playing the “straight man” to Griffin’s antics, and the chemistry between the two is undeniable.

The rest of the supporting cast is equally strong, with Aunjanue Ellis playing Sistah Girl, Undercover Brother's fierce and loyal partner-in-crime. Sistah Girl is a feminist who is not afraid to speak her mind, and who challenges Undercover Brother at every turn. Chris Kattan also gives a memorable performance as Mr. Feather, a rival to Undercover Brother who is also a secret agent working for The Man. Feather is an expert in disguises, and his character provides some of the funniest scenes in the movie.

Overall, Undercover Brother is a hilarious, action-packed adventure that brilliantly parodies the spy genre while also addressing issues of racism and power. The film does not shy away from tropes related to blackness and Hollywood indigestible cliches, with an ending which just repositions things concerning the ‘victim and perpetrator’. It's a movie that will definitely leave you laughing and perhaps inspire in you to hum some funky tunes from the ‘70s!

Undercover Brother is a 2002 action movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 26 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.9 and a MetaScore of 69.

Undercover Brother
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Undercover Brother is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, The Roku Channel, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, Microsoft Movies & TV, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Undercover Brother for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 26 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    5.9  (36,078)
  • Metascore