Picks and Pans Review: Malibu's Most Wanted

updated 04/28/2003 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 04/28/2003 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Jamie Kennedy, Ryan O'Neal, Anthony Anderson, Taye Diggs

Take 8 Mile, jettison Eminem and his knack for rhyme, move the locale from Detroit to Los Angeles, add a few punchy jokes and a slew of piddling ones, and you've got Malibu's Most Wanted. After seeing this puny comedy, "wanted by whom?" would seem the most pertinent question.

The film's central joke is that a spoiled Malibu rich kid (Kennedy, of TV's JFX: The Jamie Kennedy Experiment—see p. 138) is a gangsta wannabe, walking, talking and dressing as if he's straight outta Compton. He also raps, execrably. Seth Green (who looks like a diminutive version of Kennedy) already did this same schtick for bigger laughs, and in fewer scenes, in the otherwise undistinguished 1998 teen comedy Can't Hardly Wait. Granted, there's plenty to satirize about privileged white (and black) youth who hang at the mall making like 50 Cent, but Wanted comes up wanting. (PG-13)

BOTTOM LINE: Deserves a bad rap

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