Solid! Well, not so solid is this unexpected sequel to the 2002 action comedy that is more of a time waster than anything.
Undercover Brother is back and a few months after he had destroyed the Man’s headquarters, he has been patiently waiting to find where the Man is hiding. In the meantime, he decides to train his younger brother Lionel in becoming a spy after he experienced a failing rap career and has a current job as a dog groomer. While Lionel is the last person anyone, including his brother, wants as a spy, when the Man is located in Austria, Undercover Brother heads there and finally faces the Man. However, Lionel has also arrived and despite all efforts, the brothers find themselves in an avalanche.
Sixteen years has passed. The brothers are discovered and are thawed out in a local Austrian hospital. Lionel emerges just fine, but Undercover Brother is in a coma. The Brotherhood, led by Sister Honey, decides to put Lionel in their ranks. As Lionel attempts to adjust himself in the new decade, Undercover Brother pops up in ethereal form on occasion to help Lionel, who has learned the Man has been ousted by his crazy son Manson, who intends to do the opposite of what his father did through a dangerous drug known as Woke. However, the Man might have something up his sleeve and Lionel may need his brother to get out of the coma to help him on what could be his most dangerous mission yet.
What is going on with Universal and their need to release unnecessary sequels to keep the market going? Over the past few years, we’ve had the likes of Kindergarten Cop 2, A Cop and a Half: New Recruit, Scorpion King: Book of Souls, Death Race: Beyond Anarchy, and let’s not forget The Car: Road to Revenge. Now, we have a sequel to Undercover Brother and instead of Eddie Griffin, we have Michael Jai White in the titular role. There’s just one small problem…he’s not in the movie as much as one would hope!
That’s right. We do not get to see much of White strutting his 70’s attire in the film. Instead, we get to see most of him in the opening and final acts of the film. The script, by Ian Edwards and Stephen Mazur, gives our titular hero a more Obi-Wan Kenobi like state in the film as well as being the narrator. Instead, the film is meant to hype up actor and comedian Vince Swann, who plays Undercover Brother’s actual brother Lionel. Lionel is supposed to be some sort of 90’s version of an Austin Powers like spy, but he is more seen as a doofus type character and that doesn’t exactly make the film look good at all. Swann does his best to work with the material given, but it doesn’t make him look good as a result. However, there is a bit of redemption in the third and final act, in which we finally see the return of our titular hero as he comes out of the coma in the nick of time.
There are some bits of comic redemption, in the forms of Barry Bostwick as lead villain The Man. Now, there’s been a trend with Bostwick and the roles he’s been taken lately. From playing a badass FDR to a biker-like Santa Claus in the awesome Slay Belles, Bostwick continues his comedic run as he plays the Man quite funnily while Gary Owen is a redeeming factor as Militant Brother, a Caucasian man who identifies himself as African-American and does it hysterically. Owen has been a funny staple from his role in Tyler Perry’s House of Pain and it’s going to be fun seeing him and White re-team in next year’s Welcome to Sudden Death.
Sadly though, Undercover Brother 2 is a very unnecessary sequel that attempts to launch a new star, but the script is the main problem here. Even more the sad, it would have been better to make this a full Michael Jai White film as he has that ability to blend comedy and martial arts well.
WFG RATING: C-
A Universal 1440 Entertainment production. Director: Leslie Small. Producers: Mike Elliott, Joseph P. Genier, and Hal Lieberman. Writers: Ian Edwards and Stephen Mazur; based on characters created by John Ridley. Cinematography: Keith L. Smith. Editing: Heath Ryan.
Cast: Michael Jai White, Vince Swann, Barry Bostwick, Laila Odom, Affion Crockett, Melanie Loren, Gary Owen, Lindsey Lamb, Steven Lee Johnson, CJ Sykes, Jeff Daniel Phillips.