Long Story Short:
Pootie Tang is an international superstar and superhero who speaks his own language and beats his enemies with a belt that cost 95 cents at the Piggly Wiggly. Needless to say it was the most underrated film of 2001.
For the most part, our previous reviews have been on movies that critics have liked or at least tolerated. Pootie Tang (MTV Films) got horrible reviews, and until last fall I had not even met one person who had seen it. That is until I saw the movie and wondered how anyone could hate it. I think the problem is that some people go into every movie expecting to see something profound. There is nothing profound about Pootie Tang, but sometimes you just need to relax and watch a movie that isn’t serious at all.
Pootie (Lance Crouther), originally a character from HBO’s The Chris Rock Show, speaks his own language of catch phrases. You will have no idea what the hell is saying, but that is what makes it so funny. He fights crime with unconventional and downright hysterical methods; he uses a belt to beat up drug-dealers. Chris Rock doesn’t disappoint, appearing as a few supporting characters.
Pootie Tang is perhaps the hardest movie that one could ever review. If one describes the movie, they give too much away – not because it’s a film concerned with plot twists (or even a plot for that matter) but because it’s a movie that you need to be kept in the dark about to fully enjoy.
Though Pootie seems to be a role tailor made for Rock himself, Lance Crouther is perfect. In the first 15 minutes of the film, there is no doubt this man is one of the most talented physical comedians in some time. His facial expressions, body movements and conviction with which he delivers his gibberish dialogue are perfect. The supporting cast provides the novice comedian with the padding he needs. If he can’t steal the scene, they do.
Also, the diplomatically irreverent humor of Rock shines through. No race, creed or color is safe, but the jokes themselves mean no harm. Any stereotype or negative portrayal is light-hearted and done intentionally. It’s the film of 2001 that deserved the largest of audiences but barely found anyone.