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Non-Review Review: I’m Gonna Git You, Sucka!

Wow. A Wayans’ movies that wasn’t completely terrible. Okay, it isn’t great, but there are some genuinely hilarious moments hidden in this blaxploitation spoof. There’s a fairly high miss-to-hits ratio, though – but it still hits the spot frequently enough.

Pretty fly...

I’m Gonna Git You, Sucka! is a blaxploitation movie about Jack Spade, who returned home to find out his brother passed away. How exactly his brother expired offer’s one of the movie’s frequently recurring jokes, so I won’t spoil it here – I’ll just say that it’s a wonderful comedic metaphor. Anyway, before you know what’s happening, Jack has declared war on the vice leader Mr. Big, with hilarious results.

The Wayans would go on to reach greater fame and notority (and even infamy) as the brains behind Scary Movie and Scary Movie 2. And it was all down hill from there – with White Chicks and Little Man going straigh to video hell. I’ve never found their antics particularly funny – they’re shocking for the sake of being shocking, without the underlying parody or witty observations that traditionally accompany such fare (as in Team: America or South Park, for example). It’s mostly tasteless joke after tasteless joke – it’s a one trick pony that tends to outlive its welcome before the first act is over.

I’m Gonna Git You, Sucka! admittedly suffers from a moment or two of this sort of bad taste (Jack’s experience with a lady he picks up at a bar, for example), but it doesn’t wear out its welcome. Unlike Scary Movie, it appears that there is genuinely enough material here to spoof, withough having to spend all the film in poor taste – or at leas to mask most of that poor taste with social commentary. Witness, for example, the “urban athletics” organised for local youths – activities include running from a dog carrying a television, stipping a car or the “senior citizen mugging” competition.

No cop outs here...

By exploring the stereotypes of race in the United States cinema – and, in particular, how these stereotypes often end up being maintained by people of that race – the Wayans lend their movie a hint of social relevence. They manage to stay mostly on the right side of being preachy, though – favouring quick jokes at the expense of this collection of stereotypes.

I don’t know nearly enough about the social fabric of urban America to comment on whether their observations reflect the African American experience, but it certainly effectively reflects the media portrayal of the community. The tropes and ideas that they are parodying are familiar enough to me, a viewer from overseas, that they movie can hit the right notes. Take, for example, the way that the revenge squad against Mr. Big is offered up as a collection of archetypes, from the pimp to the black karate master – all figures taken wonderful from popular culture, rather than reflecting urban reality.

It doesn’t hurt that the film also has a wide variety of jokes that would be funny even by themselves, out of context – the ultimate fate of the character played by Isaac Hayes, or the experience of former “pimp of the year” on reentering society. The jokes don’t necessarily hit with the consistency of a great comedy, but they hit enough for the film to be decently entertaining. There are moments which drag on far too long on a fundamentally unamusing premise (for example, the cameo from a young Chris Rock), but these are generally few and far between.

I’m Gonna Git You, Sucka! is a film that will likely most appeal to those who love their films with heart-attack-inducing levels of cheese – who would appreciate films like Blacula for reasons beyond irony. It’s not a classic comedy by a long shot, or even a must-see, but it’s probably the best film that the Wayans have ever produced. Which is damning with faint praise, I suppose.

3 Responses

  1. Im watching it again right now. I do prefer don’t be a menace although this has some classic comic moments “is that yo dinner”

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