Published May 21, 2009At the preview screening for Dance Flick, a publicist announced that the film was created by "the next generation of Wayans brothers." There was a kernel of truth to this claim: the film stars Damon Wayans Jr., is co-written by Craig Wayans (a heretofore unheard-of cousin) and directed by Damien Dante Wayans (son of Nadia, nephew of Keenan Ivory, Shawn, Marlon, etc.). It's time to face facts: not only are the Wayans kin inescapable but they're also multiplying at a frightening rate, and within a few decades all movies will become Wayans movies. A Citizen Kane remake with jokes involving urination, queefing and fat suits may soon become a reality.
This next generation of Wayans isn't too different from the old one. Dance Flick, a return to the spoof genre they revitalized (if that's the word I'm looking for) with Scary Movie. Following the general plot outline of Save the Last Dance, Dance Flick finds room to parody such dance hits as Hairspray, High School Musical, You Got Served, uh, Twilight and Black Snake Moan? Really? And hey, isn't it a bit late to be cracking Halle Berry hit-and-run jokes?
Damon Wayans Jr. stars as a high school break dancing champion and Shoshana Bush plays a troubled but talented dancer who… oh, never mind. Is Dance Flick funny? I'd say it hits its mark about 20-percent of the time, which places it ahead of the demonic Friedberg/Seltzer efforts (Date Movie, Epic Movie). The other 80-percent is sloppy and disorganized, with jokes being set up but not paid off and other scenes that are completely, utterly inexplicable (such as a deeply strange bit involving lightning).
Typical of the film's comedy is David Alan Grier, as the Suge Knight-like "Sugar Daddy," a grotesquely obese character who sings a four-minute Dreamgirls spoof song about his love of food. It's not exactly funny, and feels suspiciously like a deleted scene that accidentally made its way into the final cut. Actually, Dance Flick might be nothing more than a collection of deleted scenes in search of a movie. (Paramount)