Crude Humor Fails to Impress in ‘Meet the Blacks’

Photo courtesy of El Paso, Flikr

“Meet the Blacks” is a comedic parody of the 2013 film “The Purge.” The original film, which starred Ethan Hawke, was a horror flick that wasn’t all that good, and unfortunately, the parody is even worse.

It seems that every year another movie like “Meet the Blacks” hits theaters and previous films like “Scary Movie” and “Not Another Teen Movie” are to blame.

In the late ‘90s, there was a long run of horror and teen movies that became wildly popular. The popularity of these hits, which include “Scream” and “Varsity Blues,” spurred a steady stream of parody films that have never left theaters. Each one of these movies that gets released seems worse than its predecessor.

Nearly every joke in “Meet the Blacks” focuses on race or sex, and not in a satirical way: the subjects are handled cheaply. Also, every character appears to be a racial stereotype, and literally every white person in the film is racist to varying degrees.

The film is led by Mike Epps, who plays Carl Black. Epps’ movie career really took off in the early 2000s, after a hilarious supporting role in “Next Friday.” Before that, he was mostly known as a stand-up comedian, but even with his strong comedic background, Epps cannot save this film. He does churn out a few humorous one-liners, but the film’s joke got very tired very quickly.

Epps wasn’t the only stand-up comedian in the movie. Gary Owen also appears as one of the Blacks’ adversaries, and has a few good scenes before meeting his demise. Added to the mix are a slew of celebrity cameos, headlined by the former heavyweight boxing champion of the world Mike Tyson. However, no amount of star power can save this lackluster project.

The film, as a whole, really speaks to a larger problem in Hollywood: a lack of creativity. In recent years, it seems that Hollywood has made fewer and fewer original films and continues to rely heavily on remakes that no one asked for. While “Meet the Blacks” isn’t a true remake, it is the remake’s ugly cousin, the parody.  

Other characters in the film seem to be there for visual purposes only: specifically, actress Zulay Henao. Henao plays Lorena, Epps’ wife and stepmother to his children. In one scene, after surviving a close call with a meat cleaver, she takes her shirt off for no reason, which prompts her stepdaughter to ask why. The answer to that question is gratuitous sex, of course. In previous films, such as “Fighting,” Henao turns in subtle yet effective performances, but in “Meet the Blacks,” her role is strictly visual.

For a comedic parody that boasts some seriously funny actors, the lack of real humor in “Meet the Blacks” is troubling. The cast seems intent on relying upon cheap jokes to get through their scenes, and the script feels like it was written by a teenage boy in the midst of puberty.