Picks and Pans Review: You So Crazy

updated 02/14/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/14/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST

Martin Lawrence

This concert film, shot last year before an adoring audience at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, continues where Lawrence left off on his album Talkin' S—. The big difference between the album and the movie is that the latter's title is printable.

Lawrence, the star of Fox's Martin, puckishly tramples through race relations, gender differences and other areas where those without his affable manner and infectious smile should dare not tread. He peppers his routine with advice—everything from avoiding crack to using candoms—which does not, however, hide his frequently contradictory philosophies.

Nowhere is this more apparent then in his routine on the evils of racism. While repeating a "gotta get over this racism" mantra, Lawrence suggests that Mexican-Americans made out best from the L.A.-riot looting. He also inserts an all-purpose "white guy" whenever someone stupid is needed for a particular anecdote. In another section, Lawrence discusses tolerating gays before hastily pointing out that he is in fact "for the ladies."

Offensive in some areas and boring in many others, Lawrence mistakenly believes he can breath new life into topics such as Women and Their Bodily Functions and How to Avoid Prison Rape. He is at his best dissecting the ups and inevitable downs of relationships, whipping the audience into a frenzy with his dead-on portrayal of lovers on the brink. He plays the role of a woman jealous over a restaurant coal checker as well as an even wilder, pajama-clad male lover coming to take his woman home from a disco with equal gusto. The momentum reaches such levels that Lawrence at one point wonders aloud if he should slop and take a sip of water—then finally downs a big gulp. If only the bulk of his material was so refreshing. (R)

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