Little Man (2006) / Comedy-Thriller
MPAA Rated: PG-13 for crude humor, sexual humor, language and violence
Running Time: 90 min.
Cast: Marlon Wayans, Shawn Wayans, Kerry Washington, Tracy Morgan, Chazz Palminteri, John Witherspoon, Lochlyn Munro, Fred Stoller, Damien Dante Wayans, Gary Owen, Dave Sheridan, John DeSantis, Alex Borstein, Brittany Daniel, Molly Shannon, David Alan Grier, Rob Schneider
Director: Keenen Ivory Wayans
Screenplay: Keenen Ivory Wayans, Shawn Wayans, Marlon Wayans
Review published July 18, 2006
They superimposed Marlon Wayans' (The Ladykillers, Scary Movie 2) head on the body of a young dwarf to create the effect of making him look small, but one part of him did appear to shrink down to tiny size during the conception stage of this abysmal film -- the size of his brain.
Little Man is without a doubt one of the worst movies of 2006, or any year for that matter, with not a single laugh-worthy moment to be found at any point in this 90 minute film. I could give the Wayans' men some credit for taking chances with their films, as their last movie had the high concept of Marlon and Shawn dressing up as white women, but somewhere along the line, they really need to stop with the gimmicks and concentrate on being funny, if they even remember how to anymore.
Little Man may be a funny idea, although some might claim it has been done before in the Merry Melodies/Bugs Bunny classic cartoon, "Baby Buggy Bunny", which featured a remarkably similar premise of a hoodlum losing the loot after a heist and having to don a baby disguise to get it back. Little Man takes this idea, and concocts a plan for Calvin (Marlon Wayans) to infiltrate the home of young couple Darryl (Shawn Wayans) and Vanessa (Washington, Fantastic Four), who had already been talking about plans of having a baby of their own when Calvin appears at their doorstep dressed as a toddler. Calvin plans to pretend to be a baby until he can get his hands on the large jewel he stole, before the local mob boss (Palminteri, Running Scared) decides to snuff him out for not handing it over.
The problem with Little Man isn't the concept, which is amusing enough to think that something funny could have been made out of it in the right hands. The problem is in the execution, with the Wayans' doing what they always do with any concept they have, which is to infuse every scene with dick jokes, piss jokes, poop jokes, fart jokes, and boob jokes. No matter how outlandish the concept, they just keep making the same movie over and over, concocting new ways to deliver the exact same material they've been doing for almost two decades now.
A better title for this film would have been Men Getting Hit in the Crotch, as that seems to be the one comedic device that the Wayans' never tire of, trotting it out in nearly every other scene, and sometimes multiple times in the same one. The rest of the gags are in similarly poor taste, with something to offend just about everyone. Whether it plays off of incest, rape, child abduction, child abuse, or child endangerment, the film is only an attempted child molestation scene from exploring nearly every disturbing avenue possible with this material and still hold on to the PG-13 rating.
None of these things offended me nearly as much as the fact that, considering how twisted the concept is and how funny the Wayans' can be at times, there just isn't anything for us to laugh at. As was the case with their previous project, White Chicks, it's more disturbing than amusing on so many levels. Looks like they haven't stopped trying to make movies worthy of being called "Scary Movie".
I didn't think that I'd find a film in 2006 that could actually be as bad as The Benchwarmers, but Little Man manages to deliver an equally abhorrent assault on our senses blow for blow. For their next comic venture, perhaps it's time for the Wayans to finally try something they've never tried before -- grow up.
©2006 Vince Leo