Nick Cannon, Cheech Marin, ...
Credit: Underclassman: Alan Markfield



The loserville teen comedy Underclassman is like a student project sloppily cribbed from other kids’ notes — kids who have seen Rush Hour and still can’t get over how funny it is to stick a noisy black guy in a distinctly nonblack setting. Imagine a mouthy bicycle cop called Tre (Drumline‘s Nick Cannon, a bantamweight Chris Tucker) who goes undercover in a snooty white L.A. prep school to bust a case involving drugs, car theft, murder, and basketball rivalry. (Don’t question why a brother who dropped out of high school gets the gig.) Imagine Tre’s captain is a blustering Cheech Marin, and that no possible lame joke is left unspoken so long as it involves blacks, Hispanics, whites who can’t speak proper hip-hop, and a fat cop preoccupied with his own bowel movements.

Imagine the poor grade Underclassman will receive. The movie also features a foxy-chica teacher (Roselyn Sanchez of…Rush Hour 2!), who inspires Tre to study, and who is charmed when he hits on her. That this is director Marcos Siega’s second toxic high school fable to be released following August’s Pretty Persuasion is reason to wonder what bad things happened to him back in study hall.

  • Movie
  • 95 minutes