CB4 - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

CB4 Reviews

Page 1 of 21
May 31, 2015
Hilarious take on gangsta rap in the 90s, although very profane. It's sad only so many people know about this movie, but everybody knows about every adam sandler movie.
April 8, 2015
A rap Spinal Tap only not good.
½ February 2, 2015
It's no Fear of a Black Hat, but CB4 is funny in its own right.
December 26, 2013
My Favorite Comedy Film Is 1933's Duck Soup.
½ November 27, 2013
Much like Fear of a Black Hat, there's some laughs here, but it's not enough to support the film's length.
July 20, 2013
If you grew up with rap in the 80s and 90s, you'll love this parody. Back when Chris Rock was still funny even!
July 16, 2013
This movie has a lot of potential but it never quite lives up to it. There are some funny ideas, songs and moments but the script could have used a rewrite or 2 more. The cast seems to be having a lot of fun. Overall this movie is a slight disappointment.
½ May 28, 2013
pretty funny idea and good cast make this film entertaining. even tho its a spoof its probably more true than you'd think.
½ March 28, 2013
Straight out of Locash
January 30, 2013
Now this is a classic movie!
December 7, 2012
Would like to get round to watching.
September 16, 2012
Chris Rock has made a cult film here. If you enjoy rap and hip-hop but also can poke fun at the many stereo-types then its a must watch.
September 15, 2012
A total spoof on the rap business, and my boy Charlie Murphy is in it too!
½ August 27, 2012
Chris Rock, Chris Elliott, and Phil Hartman in one movie. Amazing.
August 15, 2012
Complete with a Chris Rock parody of Straight Outta Compton
½ June 6, 2012
good parody on the rap game and how some rappers just front
April 16, 2012
(all i got to say)
½ April 7, 2012
Similar to "This is Spinal Tap" Not as good as that film but funny nonetheless
April 6, 2012
Raunchy with a capital R...Can't believe Chris Rock even did this one.
½ March 29, 2012
CB4 (Tamra Davis, 1993)

There are some things that have achieved the status of urban legends because any veracity they may have had at some time in the past has faded so far back that, simply, no one knows if they were at one point true. Did John Pershing bury Muslims with pigs as a deterrent in 1911? No one knows any more. Did random crazies ever hand out poisoned candy on Halloween? It may have happened. Was Chris Rock ever actually funny in a feature-length film? I had long thought this, too, would pass into the world of the forever-unverifiable until I uncovered the movie CB4. Which is kind of funny, because back in the day, I owned the soundtrack, but I'd never actually gotten round to seeing the flick itself. In fact, I'd totally forgotten about it until Netflix Streaming told me it was disappearing in a week. No time like the present, I thought, and gave it a go. Chris Rock wrote this? Even stranger, Tamra Davis directed it? And yet all the evidence points to the idea that what should have been some sort of perfect storm of absolute movie suck is one of the nineties' underrated gems.

If you are not familiar with our co-conspirators: Chris Rock is a very, very funny stand-up comic who actually exhibited a flar for dramatic roles (New Jack City, e.g.; this film's funniest scene is Rock parodying one of that film's iconic moments), then tried to get into film comedy. In almost every case, the results have ranged from the terminally stupid (need I mention Pootie Tang?) to the absolutely horrifying (Dogma, perhaps the worst of Kevin Smith's uniformly unwatchable comedies). And then there's former music video director Tamra Davis, who released a string of comedies so bad after this (Billy Madison, Best Men, and Half Baked) that she decided to turn to drama-and ended up making Crossroads, the movie that began, and thankfully ended, the film career of Britney Spears.

CB4, despite being the bumblebee of the film industry, works because it takes the strengths of both of these two people and works them together in a way one wouldn't quite expect them to work. Rock because this is the closest thing to one of his standup routines you can imagine-it's a straight satire on rap culture, with the same kind of rapid-fire delivery Rock (who also co-wrote the script) uses onstage, treading a lot of the same ground. All the screenwriters did was dramatize it. Since it's a rockumentary, a music video director makes perfect sense to helm the thing, but here's where it gets tricky. Did Davis mean to shower quite as much venom on her own profession as she does here, or did she not quite understand what she was getting herself into when she took the project on? Because if you're going to rip on rap culture, ripping on music videos is going to be a big part of that, and from the very first video shoot in the film to the very last, the humor is at its harshest in those scenes. (The second and third funniest scenes in the movie-the clips from the solo videos made by Dead Mike [Allen Payne, who also came up in New Jack City] and Stab Master Arson [Cool As Ice's Deezer D, who the year after this would pick up a fifteen-year gig on the TV show ER].) I don't know the answer to that, but whatever the case, the savagery works, and a very good movie came out of it. And when I say "very good", I mean "this movie is so bulletproof that even the appearance of Chris Elliott can't sink it". (While Chris Elliott has won four Emmys for his writing on Late Night with David Letterman, his career in front of the screen has produced such classics as Cabin Boy and Nutty Professor 2: The Klumps.)

This is not to say it doesn't have its problems, most of which have to do with the movie's pace (which could probably have been streamlined by removing an unnecessary subplot or two). And while Chris Elliott may not have been able to sink the movie, his very appearance in it does cast a dark cloud. But still, this is a very funny movie when it's on its game. Too bad that doesn't happen more regularly here. *** 1/2
Page 1 of 21