Obviously the brothers Wayans, who star on their own TV show, WB's The Wayans Bros., have learned a thing or two from their older siblings Keenen Ivory and Damon. Don't Be a Menace, which Shawn and Marlon star in and cowrote (with Phil Beauman), skewers today's young, conflicted and black films (Boyz N the Hood, Juice, Menace II Society) as effectively, and lovingly, as Keenen Ivory's 1988 satire I'm Gonna Git You Sucka ridiculed '70s blaxploitation films.
Don't expect too much. This was done on the cheap and is very much a fledgling effort, with character development that's about as deep as a stick of gum. But it's cheerful and amusing, with some good solid laughs—and there's bite to some of the bits. (The convenience store's sign boasts Guns and Liquor; a middle-class mother bids her son farewell at the movie's start, telling him she won't be seeing him again because "you know there ain't no positive black females in these movies.") And watch for the O.J. glove joke. (R)