Everybody's a critic - 'The Cookout'

Friday, September 10, 2004

Two stars (out of four)

"The Cookout" is a slapstick comedy, if anything. The story follows a young man and his ups and downs with his newfound fame.

Queen Latifah, playing the security guard Mildred Smith, is funny, as always. Even so, the plot is rather cliched and at times monotonous.

I found the movie easy to follow and easy on the brain. The typical story of a boy from the "hood" becoming rich and in the end his proper-white sponsor for an endorsement gets "jiggy" with it.

Many, many harsh stereotypes are portrayed vividly, which makes the movie appalling at times. But the acting is first class, and the cliched ending did make me smile.

Unless you are a die-hard fan of one of the actors, or you just enjoy knowing exactly what is going to happen next in a film, I would not recommend "The Cookout."

- Amanda Spence, student


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Two and a half stars (out of four)

The storyline of "The Cookout" involves a young man who is the No. 1 draft pick for the NBA. It starts with the day before the draft and gives details of how it affects his life for the next few days and weeks.

The movie is supposed to be a comedy that pokes fun at our stereotypes, and it does an excellent job of setting up the stereotype and then delivering a twist that makes us sit up and pay attention. But so much of it was a biting satire rather than a provocative comedy. There seemed to be anger just beneath the surface in many of the scenes.

However, the movie was never boring and did provide some good laughs and enjoyable scenes.

The main characters are likable, and Queen Latifah adds much to the comedic aspect of the film.

- Jean Mason, civil service


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One star (out of four)

When I was the only one in the theater for the first 30 minutes it left me wondering, but then five other people arrived. They had missed nothing.

I was not impressed with the way black people were portrayed in this movie as drug-addicted, sex-crazed and ill-mannered. I was taken aback by the idea that when the protagonist moves into a predominately white neighborhood, the residents scream and run. They did not say it, but you could hear the innuendo, "there goes the neighborhood."

Then, to top it all off, Queen Latifah seems to put herself above those of her own race.

"The Cookout" was a combination of "The Beverly Hillbillies" and the Hatfields and McCoys. The only saving grace is the mother, played by Jennifer Lewis, who tries to remind her son of the values he was brought up with at home.

I would not take my grandchildren to see this movie, and I would not recommend it to others.

- Susan Noce, homemaker

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