He’s older now, pushing 50. And if Mr. “Black don’t Crack, we smoke it” hasn’t matured — not a lick — so be it.
Marlon Wayans remains a screen comic in search of a sketch comedy show that can contain his special gifts. Those would be mimicry and the ability to “sell” himself as a woman, a tiny man and even — when the movie called for it — one of two “White Chicks.”
“Sextuplets” is a star vehicle which has him playing a husband awaiting, with his wife, on the birth of their first child. As he is adopted and has no “family history” in terms of genetics and health prospects, his cranky judge of a father-in-law (Glynn Turman) tracks down his birth records for him.
Turns out Alan was one of SIX kids his birth mother had. He has just enough time to tell wife Marie (Bresha Webb), allowing just enough time for us to get our minds in that “Klumps” frame-of-mind, before Alan is meeting the five siblings he never knew he had.
“Maybe one of them changed his name to Idris Elba! We do have strangely similar features. ”
“Sextuplets” is about Alan connecting with the doltish lump Russell, whom his mother kept, and convict and sometime pole dancer Dawn, terminally ill hustler Little Pete, crooked identity thief Ethan, and so on.
Wayans had a hand in the script, which features limp “Jeffersons,” “What’s Happening” jokes, and a “Different Strokes” sing-along.
“It’s like a Tyler Perry movie in here!”
We learn that the siblings share a loathing of avocados –“Tastes like soft-boiled silly putty” and that “Black people don’t wear flip flops.”
Alan’s white pal (Michael Ian Black) is here to use outdated African American slang — “On fleek,” “The Bomb,” “off the chain.”
“We don’t say that!” Anymore.
Gold-toothed thug Ethan is all about “white people credit” and “You got REPUBLICAN money,” because he’s all about the cash.
The film is, sadly, rarely funny. Wayans and his screenwriters roll out his least-interesting, most Eddie Murphy as a “Klump” character first, and saddle the picture with him. That horse is lame.
Dawn is the stand out, a hilarious impersonation of an easily-affronted African American big screen stereotype. Oversexed, unethical and damned if she’s going to be “judged” by the likes of you, she is too many Leslie Jones characters on “Saturday Night Live” to count. More to the point, she’s funny.
The rest of “Sextuplets?” Played, no matter how much verve brings to his various roles.
MPAA Rating: TV-14, adult situations, sexuality, mild profanity
Cast: Marlon Wayans, Bresha Webb, Glynn Turman, Debbi Morgan, Michael Ian Black
Credits: Michael Tiddes, script by Rick Alvarez, Mike Glock and Marlon Wayans. A Netflix release.
Running time: 1:38