Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Review: "Naked" throws everything at the wall, and nothing sticks

Naked Review

This may come as a surprise to some, but I actually get a kick out of the Wayans brothers. I used to watch their show with my best friend, and I always found them funny. I think there are very few people who really understand what makes a parody or spoof movie tick, but I felt the Wayans brothers really knew what it took to make a worthwhile spoof movie, and I still enjoy both "Scary Movie" and "Scary Movie 2" for what they were. Once the Wayans brothers left that franchise, it never recovered, and it just became another standard spoof franchise. I think when they hone in their comedy, they make good material. They aren't afraid to be relentless, they aren't afraid to try different styles, and they had good stage presences. Somehow though, all three of them (Damian, Marlon, Keenan Ivory) all fell off the map. I always thought comedy was poorer for it.

I suppose Marlon Wayans just needed a paycheck bad. Like really bad. That is the only thing I can think of that made him agree to star in "Naked," a recent Netflix addition that is one of the dopiest films of the year.

The film begins with Marlon Wayans playing a man named Rob Anderson. He's a guy who can't commit to anything. It took seven years for him to finally propose to his girlfriend Megan (Regina Hall), he's offered a full time job in a classroom after working as a substitute for many years only to turn it down. He's afraid to grow up, afraid of commitment, afraid to take big steps to improve his situation. But alas, he is finally engaged to the girl of his dreams, even though her family doesn't approve of their relationship, because Rob can't offer financial stability. The night before the wedding, Megan goes on her bachelorette party, and Rob goes on his bachelor party.

The next morning, Rob wakes up in the elevator of a hotel he is not staying in, and he's completely without clothes. Okay, this has the potential to be a funny comedy. A guy, having a "Hangover" type bachelor party before his big day and he trying to figure out what happened to him and how. Rob tries to get back to his hotel, throw his suit on and get to his wedding before the bells ring. That's material ample enough for a fun comedy. There are some potentially funny moments that are sadly handled in an unfunny way, but the movie seemed like it was finally getting going, and I was curious to see what Wayans had in store and what was going to happen.

Then the wedding bells rang, and suddenly Rob is back in the elevator of a hotel he is not staying in and he's completely without clothes. Suddenly, the movie shifts from "The Hangover" to "Groundhog Day" and the rest of the film is a comedy of how those two radically different ideas are meshed together. For no real reason I might add, the reason why Rob keeps going back in time every time the wedding bells ring is never explained. There is no supernatural element, no angels, no aliens, nothing of the sort. It's just something that kind of happens to add more "funny" moments in the film that end up falling apart like a stack of cards. The mystery is still there, but its not a very surprising one nor is it a very funny one.

Whats really shocking is that the movie features people like Wayans, Hall, Dennis Haysbert, and many other talented and funny people, but they are playing such horridly pedestrian characters that I can't believe any of them signed up for this. They are playing characters in a comedy where they don't make the audience laugh. They are playing people with no emotions, no depth, no heart or souls. Each character in this movie are nothing but blanks, and I guess everybody needed a little money, because I don't know why anybody would want to have signed on for this. I won't say that anyone is particularly bad in this, they just have nothing to play here.

Not only is "Naked" not a funny movie, it has no idea what comedy it wants to be. Sometimes its a Hangover rip-off, other times its a "Groundhog Day" rip-off. Sometimes it wants to be a romantic comedy, other times it wants to be raunchy. It has no idea what it wants to be, and that's a little infuriating. 

There are already plenty of content to "Netflix and Chill" to, you can skip this piece of rotten fruit altogether.

FINAL GRADE: D-

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