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Mo' Money Review

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★★★★★

After expertly playing hunky sidekick to Bruce Willis in The Last Boy Scout, burgeoning comic talent Damon Wayans here gets his own vehicle, which he wrote himself, a loosely connected series of comic sketches shackled by one of those lumpen connect-the-dot action plots that makes the average Magnum P.I. episode look inspired.

It starts promisingly enough with the reprobate Stewart brothers, Johnny (Damon Wayans) and Seymour (putty-faced younger sibling Marlon), a pair of slapstick street cons running low-level scams in consumer electronics. Tiring of the con's life, Johnny encounters a serene vision of loveliness in Amber Evans (Dash), straightening himself out temporarily to woo the pert executive assistant by taking a mailroom job in the credit card company where she works. Amber, however, happens to be sleeping with the boss, and Johnny, finding he can't possibly compete money-wise with the snooty black toff on his serf-level wage packet, slips back into the hustler groove, illicitly pocketing uncancelled credit cards and bolting off on rowdy shopping sprees with the euphoric Seymour.

If that were it, this would be an entertaining enough slice of escapist fluff, even if the Wayans brothers' burlesque double act takes questionable jabs at everyone from women with eating disorders to people with AIDS. To scupper any impressions that this is just a vanity project for the Wayans to strut their comic stuff, however, Damon and Rambo III helmer MacDonald staple on a hare-brained mayhem-riddled action plot, as if operating under the mortally terrifying assumption that an audience would refuse to laugh at the jokes unless there were some really amazing car crashes and a snowballing body count to go along with them.