The THIS IS SPINAL TAP of rap music, CB4 – THE MOVIE is underwhelming in its attempt at humor and other than a few chuckles here and there is uninspired and paint-by-numbers entertainment.
Middle class suburbanite Albert (Chris Rock) creates a band with his best friends Otis (Deezer D) and Euripides (Allen Payne) but realizes that they have no street cred to be taken seriously as gangsta rappers. So they create personas with Albert using the name “MC Gusto” (pilfered from a notorious hoodlum); Otis calling himself “Stab Master Arson” and Euripides assuming the moniker “Dead Mike.”
Together they are CB4 (aka Cell Block 4) and they quickly rise to fame. But that kind of infamy comes with a price, especially when the real Gusto (Charlie Murphy) gets out of jail and comes looking for them. He has a score to settle and that’s when the shit realy hits the fan.
CB4 has a clever premise and starts off rather good, but it then quickly squanders it and becomes watered down and obvious. There’s just not enough laughs to sustain it and it just gets plain tedious after awhile.
It’s disappointing because not only is Rock known for pushing the envelope, but he’s got a rated “R” film to play in, so the sky’s the limits, yet the movie feels tame and safe even when it’s being outrageous.
I know I’m not the key demographic for this film (I’m much more “Albert” than “MC Gusto”), but I’ve managed to find the humor in many other comedies that don’t speak to me on a personal level.
All in all, I was expecting more and found CB4 tepidly amusing at best.