Film Review: Little Man

To honor the recent DVD release of the Wayans’ romp of a comedy, “Little Man,” I decided to post my original review of the film from the IDS circa July 20, 2006. I’ll preface by saying, films don’t get any worse than this.

Crazy Little Thing Called Crap
By C. Warner Sills

It’s fair to say that my expectations going into “Little Man” were about as low as the main character’s center of gravity. A movie like this is going to be stupid. We know that. But stupidity, if done right (see “Airplane!,” silver fox actor Leslie Nielson or Monty Python’s entire career), can be very funny. Unfortunately the Wayans Bros. decided to go beyond stupid, entering a world of, wait for it, shit-fueled unadulterated suck.

Calvin AKA Little Man (Marlon Wayans) is vertically challenged. Calvin also chose a life of crime. After being released from a stint in prison, he robs an extremely valuable diamond from a poorly run jewelry store with his friend/driver Percy (Tracy Morgan, whose only funny line, “word.” may also be the only funny part of the film).

After Calvin and Percy flee the scene with the police on their backs they stash the bling in the purse of a random woman in a pharmacy.

The random woman is Vanessa (Kerry Washington) who, believe it or not, just found out that she wasn’t pregnant with the child that her husband Darryl (Shawn Wayans) desperately wants to have. Calvin, overhearing this discussion, decides to shave, dress like a baby and show up on the poor couple’s doorstep to infiltrate an elaborate forced adoption scheme to get back the diamond. Badamn! We now have a plot folks.

Eventually a mob boss (Chazz Palminteri, who I’m guessing has a child to put through college or just wanted a wicked yacht when he signed on for this role) pops up who also wants the diamond. Enter the poorly delivered suspense element.

I wish that I could tell you that stupidity tries, and that “Little Man” has its funny moments. I wish I could say that, but I can’t. Instead of utilizing the clever parody and social satire that made the first two “Scary Movies” somewhat funny, the Wayans instead rely on poop and booby milk jokes and seven, count them, seven moments where someone is hit in the balls.

Then there is the creepy CGI miniature Marlon Wayans, whose size at times rivals that of a toddler or a My Buddy doll but then will magically grow in size (take the scene where the little man drives an automobile in the film’s little car chase scene) dwarfing even the Stonehenge midgets from “Spinal Tap.” But hey, who said continuity was important.

Judging by the stellar box office results of the Wayans’ last film, “White Chicks,” and the two giggling pre-pubescent mall urchins sitting two rows ahead of me at the matinee, “Little Man” will probably do quite well, maybe even warranting a sequel–“Bride of Little Man” for example. This is unfortunate since if I were given the choice of screening this film again or falling off a Kawasaki Ninja motorcycle going 50MPH on a gravel road, I’d lean towards the crotch rocket.

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