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Who's the Man? Review

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Ed Lover and Doctor Dre are two inept barbers. Deciding that maybe they ought to find another line of work, they join the police. A big mistake, as far as their duty sergeant, Sgt Cooper is concerned, who proceeds to harass them at every turn. Despite this, they discover a major crime, and proceed to solve them in their own unusual fashion.

★★★★★

Take a below par Abbot & Costello script and transpose it to the streets of Harlem, mix in cameos from fifty rap stars and what you get is Ted (nephew of Jonathan) Demme’s badass buddy movie which extracts the pee from the all too deadpan bee-bop scene without resorting to the sort of Spinal Tap-style comedy featured in CB.4 and Fear Of A Black Hat.
This is, in fact, more along the lines of the spoof blaxpoitation flick I’m Gonna Get You Sucker, but with less slapstick and a rather spurious claim of social consciousness, though it has more than enough bravado and cocksure coolness to make up for a plot that Baywatch would have rejected as too flimsy.
MTV rap stars Dr. Dre and Lover play a pair of hapless barbers who are forced to join New York’s finest to keep out of trouble. But when their former boss is bumped off by a slimy property tycoon (Richard Bright), they decide to track down the bad guys, nail their asses and prove to their sergeant from hell (Dennis Leary) that what they lack in grey matter, the more than make up for in steely determination and good intentions.
Along the way they bump into a who’s who of hip hop including Ice-T, Salt ‘n’ Pepper, Kris Kross, Public Enemy and Queen Latifah who flit in and out without contributing a great deal. But as a feelgood showcase for rap culture, with tongue firmly pressed in cheek, the film has an irresistible charm few will want to resist. The joke well may run dry before the credits, but Lover, and particularly the generously proportioned Dre, are surprisingly engaging in their first — and hopefully not last — feature outing together.

Surprisingly deft pairing of Dre and Love.

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