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A Low Down Dirty Shame Review

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Keenan Ivory Wayans plays a strugglin PI hired to track down a drug baron's missing money.

★★★★★

Seven years on from the cult spoof I'm Gonna Git You Sucka, writer/director/star Wayans tries his hand at a tongue-in-cheek comedy thriller, with little success. He stars as private eye Andre Shame, a former cop still trying to come to terms with a botched drug bust which cost him his badge.

Recruited by a narcotics agent, he has to track down his ex-girlfriend Angela (Richardson) in order to find $20 million in stolen loot and persuade her to testify against her drug boss boyfriend. Complications ensue when they're both betrayed by an unexpected source and she makes it clear she has other plans for spending the dosh anyway.

It all bobs harmlessly along to a standard formulaic conclusion but all the swank can't hide a plot half-inched from any tacky 70s detective series, complete with flabby dialogue and one-dimensional characters, the most cringe-making being a caricatured gay who makes John Inman seem butch.

Redeeming features include Pinkett as Shame's zany assistant and a soundtrack which administers much needed aid whenever the pace threatens to slacken. Wayans the actor carries off his part with verve and humour, but Wayans the director and screenwriter should have decided whether he wanted an all-out, rip-roaring spoof or a more hard-edged adventure yarn. Sadly, this isn't clever or funny enough to be the former and is too slapstick for the latter.

What is a low down dirty shame is that Wayans didn't realise a half-baked mix of slapstick send-up and hardboiled action was never going to pass muster.

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