- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 13, 2006

Be afraid, very afraid of where the Wayans brothers may tread next. The comic pranksters behind “In Living Color” last gave us “White Chicks,” featuring the alarming sight of two beefy black men parading around as Paris Hilton clones.

Now, it’s Marlon Wayans’ head transposed onto the body of a midget, or little person, in “Little Man.”

The comedy clan is nothing if not audacious.

What they aren’t — coherent, subtle or family friendly — is plastered all over “Little Man.”

The “Little Man” in question is a pint-size hood named Calvin (Marlon Wayans), an ex-con who steals a valuable diamond with his full-sized accomplice (Tracy Morgan, funny as a wannabe rapper). Calvin ditches the diamond in a woman’s purse when the police get too close and then must find a way to get the purse back to appease the local Mafia kingpin (Chazz Palminteri, cast precisely to type).

The woman in question (George Washington University graduate Kerry Washington) has been talking about having a baby with her fiance (Shawn Wayans). That inspires Calvin to impersonate a toddler in order to get into their home and retrieve the diamond.

Meanwhile, the Mafia leader is putting pressure on Calvin’s rap buddy, and the woman’s father (John Witherspoon) isn’t buying that Calvin is the bundle of joy he pretends to be.

“Little Man” may be crass, rude and obsessed with striking its characters in the groin, but it’s never dull. The computer gimmickry that transforms Marlon Wayans into Calvin is a hoot. The gag never gets old — not that it’s the laugh riot the filmmakers intended — and Marlon Wayans possesses a far more animated mug than his stiff brother Shawn Wayans.

“Little Man” mostly abandons the racial humor that made the family’s sketch show so noteworthy. We’re left with a computer generated imagery sight gag and the equivalent of a soiled pair of diapers.

**

TITLE: “Little Man”

RATING: PG-13 (Sexual humor, comic violence, harsh language and disturbing imagery)

CREDITS: Directed by Keenen Ivory Wayans. Written by Keenen Ivory Wayans, Shawn Wayans and Marlon Wayans.

RUNNING TIME: 98 minutes

WEB SITE: www.sonypictures.com/movies/littleman/

MAXIMUM RATING: FOUR STARS


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