The wackest film of 2007 stars James Todd Smith—LL Cool J if you’re nasty—as Luther, a record store employee who walks into a police station to defend the honor of his dead homie, Isaac (Mekhi Phifer). Luther claims to have some “short in his brain” that messes with the way he processes smell. This is meant to explain why he is prone to saying such lovelies as, “First night she walked in, I still remember it. City smelled like grapefruit.” But what explains his propensity for stretching out his metaphors? Later, when he relates how mixed-blood assistant DA Nora Timmer (Jolene Blalock) walked into a room stinking of tangerine—“ripe and ready to be peeled.” It gets worse: At some bourgie party where Isaac is confused for someone else, Nora (whose daddy was the cocoa and whose mama brought the milk) fills the room with her scent of mashed-potato, which doesn’t stop any of the men from wanting to be her—wait for it—gravy! The lengths Wayne Beach’s story goes to in order to cop a feel from The Usual Suspects is as embarrassing as his Showtime aesthetic, but LL Cool J’s ambition to make it sound as if he’s “doin’ it” with every syllable that comes out of his mouth works to campily put the fire out on the film’s offensive pretense to race consciousness.
- 89 min
- Wayne Beach
- Wayne Beach
- Ray Liotta, James Todd Smith, Mekhi Phifer, Jolene Blalock, Guy Torry, Taye Diggs, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Bruce McGill, Frank Schorpion, Donny Falsetti, Barbara Alexander, Joe Grifasi, Richard Jutras, Arthur Holden, Fisher Stevens, Robert Reynolds
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