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From Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary:
Pronunciation: &-'bäm-n&-b&l, -'bä-m&-
Function: adjective
1: worthy of or causing disgust or hatred: detestable [the abominable treatment of the poor]
2: quite disagreeable or unpleasant [abominable weather]
Synonyms: hateful, abhorrent, detestable, hate able, horrid, odious
Related Word: accursed, cursed; loathsome, White Chicks (2004), offensive, repugnant, revolting,

Perhaps you’ve already heard of the multi-Razzie nominated opus known as White Chicks. If you haven’t, all the better for you. Go, and continue your life blissfully unaware of this motion picture, a phrase I use as a purely technical term. If you are one of the downtrodden, and wish to learn more, proceed with caution.

White Chicks
Shawn and Marlon Wayans star as Kevin and Marcus Copeland, two young FBI agents looking for their big break. After botching an unauthorized sting operation, they find themselves in all kinds of trouble. In an act of good faith, they grudgingly volunteer to escort two young heiresses from the airport to their hotel. The sisters are assumed to be next in a socialite kidnapping plot. Of course, in a 'hilarious' and 'thoroughly unpredictable' twist, the bumbling brothers crash their escort vehicle into a tree and cause minor injuries to the snobby sisters faces. The sisters refuse to be seen at the event they are in town to attend. This, of course, would ruin the FBI’s plan to tail them and catch the fugitive kidnappers in the act. This, of course, would get the Copeland brothers into more trouble, and possibly even fired. Marcus’ harpy wife wouldn’t be happy with this; needless to say finding oneself jobless isn’t an ideal situation for Kevin either. The brothers do what any self-respecting agent of the law would, they dawn elaborate disguises and go to the event, pretending to be the sisters.

But wait, there’s more. Kevin and Marcus also neglect to tell anyone, including the sisters, harpy wife, and proper authorities, of what they are doing. However, they are fortunate in that even though they look nothing like the sisters, or white women for that matter, no one notices the difference. This includes close friends of the sisters, and personal colleagues. For a society that bases its opinions entirely on appearance (apparently), the superficial, wealthy, snobs never once notice the proverbial wool has been pulled over their eyes. One would prefer to think that this was actually a comment on the true nature of ignorance in high society, but I’m pretty sure it was just shoddy scripting. In the end, the brothers find a deeper meaning to their own lives, and a profound respect for womankind. Honestly.

White Chicks takes a reasonably amusing premise, the Wayans Bros. as the Hilton Sisters, and feebly tries to elongate it into a feature length film by adding the silly cops and robbers theme. What may have made a fine ten-minute sketch for In Living Color does not translate at all to the big screen. I’d like to say I just didn’t get the premise and jokes, but I’m afraid I did, and they were all just too obvious for my taste. I kind of enjoy it when a joke isn’t set up in neon lights, and then played over and over until any semblance of humour has been wrenched from it. There is a theory in humour that states that a joke can be taken beyond the point of funny, into the realm of obnoxious, and then returned back into the realm of funny due to it’s audacity to continue. For this theory to work however, the initial joke has to be at least mildly amusing (see The Family Guy or Airplane!).

White Chicks
Furthering my theory that the world is descending back into the 1980s, White Chicks mixes two comedy staples of the era: women pretending to be men, and white people pretending to be black; and reverses them. To studio outsiders this mix of outdated clichés would seem to be a misstep, but apparently it wasn’t as White Chicks was a bonifide hit. Why anyone paid to see it after the frightful ad campaign might actually make a fascinating study of the dichotomy of modern society and motion picture entertainment. Maybe there was some kind of deep seeded need for self-deprecation and punishment that swept the nation while I slept, I really don’t know.

A movie that fails on almost every conceivable level is a rare find. It isn’t funny, it isn’t charming, it isn’t pertinent, it isn’t topical, it isn’t anything but bad. Even the blatant racism, sexism, classism, and homophobia aren’t executed with enough chutzpah to be considered offensive by any but the most prudish. In fact White Chicks’ bland inoffensiveness is almost offensive in itself. Almost. To call White Chicks offensive would be giving it too much credit. Pink Flamingos is offensive, and actively earns the title. Director Keenen Ivory Wayans (I wonder if he even remembers what inspiration feels like) is so seemingly disinterested in the project to not even attempt any artistic or visual flare. The pace is erroneously slow and the gags rarely display any semblance of rhythm or energy. Even the performances are half hearted. I normally expect nothing from Shawn Wayans, as he has always been wooden and without charm (the guy was always just the DJ during the In Living Color salad days), but Marlon has shown genuine promise as both a comedian and a dramatic actor (see Requiem For A Dream). I suppose the compositions and costumes were at least consistently colourful.

White Chicks
White Chicks is a recently released film, and as such, shows little print damage. Black levels are actually pretty good, without loss of colour or grain. The movie was filmed like a sit-com; so most of the scenes take place in unnatural and bright light, as to minimize any continuity issues in editing (I think, maybe I’m giving the filmmakers too much credit here, this could all be accidental). The film is presented in what appears to be 1.85:1, anamorphic widescreen. I have to admit that this is a decent transfer.

It’s hard to judge weather some of the audio problems I had with White Chicks were the fault of the DVD or of the film's original tracks. Music, apparently an important factor in the film as it can help sell soundtrack CDs, is surprisingly muddled. Most of the dialogue is clear and centered. There are a few surround effects during the various 'action sequences', but the 5.1 presentation is rather bland, and could have probably been mostly exacted by a simple stereo track. There is also a discriptive audio track for the visually impared, which is something I'd actually never come across before. I think it may be the prefered way to view the film.

White Chicks
The special features begin with an obnoxious and uninformative commentary track from Shawn and Marlon Wayans. I do have to give the brothers credit for actually filling the time, rather than silently gawking at the film. Then there is a ‘How’d They Do That’ featurette that delves into the frankly unimpressive make-up effects. Cast and crew reminisce about their various experiences with the effects. Shawn and Marlon mostly whine about how long it took and how uncomfortable it was while others pretend that they actually didn’t recognize the brothers and mistook them for real women. I say pretend because I still harbor some hope for basic human intelligence. The actresses that portrayed the heiress sisters were cast specifically for their size and similarities to the brothers. Now there’s a flattering casting call.

Then there are two fluffy behind the scenes featurettes, ‘A Wayans Comedy’ (hilariously misspelled on Amazon UK’s website as ‘A Wagon’s Comedy’), and the mega-brief ‘Encore On the Set’. We learn that Shawn Wayans came up with the idea for the film while watching a news story on the Hilton sisters, and shared the idea of he and his brother playing them in a feature film some day. Apparently, his other brother agreed that the idea was solid gold and they managed to convince financial backers to support the project. Consistently, the various players compare their debacle to the classic Some Like It Hot. Nice try guys, but no dice. Comparing White Chicks to Some Like It Hot is like comparing rotting, worm-ridden apples, to luscious, refreshing, cancer curing oranges. Things are finished off with a selection of trailers and filmographies. I would have liked to have seen a feature length documentary exploring the Lovecraftian Hell in which such a film turns a handsome profit, but maybe they’re saving that for the inevitable 20th Anniversary Collector’s Edition.

White Chicks
I was going to give White Chicks one point for using a delightful Junior/Senior song during the films climactic fashion show, until I realized that the film contained a climactic fashion show, which obviously negates a point. I am a very easy person to amuse, and I don’t ask for much out of what I suspect will be a bad movie. White Chicks managed to go above and beyond the call of duty, and was actually worse than I was expecting. Beware.