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Pootie Tang (2001)

June 19, 2009

VERDICT:
6/10 “Sah da tay”s

Yeah, 6 out of 10 is a pretty generous score for this movie by most standards, but we all have our guilty pleasures.

What can I say. It cracks me up.

Pootie Tang is about an urban superhero of sorts who named himself Pootie Tang because he’s cool as all hell, too cool for the English language in fact, which is also why he says things like “Wah da tah!” and “Sine yo pitty on the runny kine” instead of using actual words that mean things. But things go awry in Pootie’s life when a tramp seduces him and steals his pimp-belt that he uses to slap the shit out of evildoers, thus sapping him of his crime-fighting abilities. Tragic.

It’s written and directed by Louis C.K., an absolutely hilarious guy whose standup is actually a million times funnier than this movie is, so it’s got that going for it. The cast is also comprised of the entire cast of The Chris Rock Show from way back when, which was a damn funny show. And Pootie Tang is played by some guy named Lance Crouther who hasn’t done anything before or after this movie came out, but he gets the job done anyway.

Aside from the running gag of Pootie Tang’s made-up language, the comedy in the movie is just silly and slapsticky, more often than not opting for something that might be funny instead of something that actually makes sense. Doesn’t work all the time, but it’s got its moments.

Chris Rock is also pretty good, but he’s done much better. Wanda Sykes is in it too, but Wanda Sykes sucks. And if you’ve seen the latest season of Curb Your Enthusiasm, J.B. Smoove, the guy who plays Leon Black, is in it too, and he’s got some good lines. I guess that’s about it.

And don’t be surprised if you’ve never heard of Pootie Tang. For some reason, everyone at my office was quoting this movie all day yesterday, but when I came home and asked my roommates and my good buddy Fred if they’d seen it, I was answered with a resounding “What the fuck is Pootie Tang?” People weren’t exactly racing to see this movie when it came out either and so it has thus fallen into the annals of obscure comedies long forgotten. I think I feel a tear coming on.

Pootie Tang‘s not the funniest thing out there, not by a longshot. But if for some reason the moon and sun align on the winter soltice and you happen upon this movie while channel surfing, I’ll stand by it and say that it’s good for a few laughs.

One of those movies that’s funnier in retrospect when people start randomly quoting it, like it’s some secret bond that only you, that other guy, and Pootie know. This has happened to me more than once and it’s reason enough to watch Pootie Tang. It’s a truly magical feeling.

Treasure that moment, people.

Never let it go.

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