film reel image

film reel image

Saturday, February 24, 2024

Mike Epps: Ready to Sell Out 2024 * * Stars


A lot of stand-up specials always seem so generic, like some "now you see it, now you don't" cash grab. 2024's Mike Epps: Ready to Sell Out, well it clocks in at 61 minutes with little intro, a small Phoenix, Arizona venue for shooting, and mostly marginal laughs. "I know you guys see me in the movies, but the money's gone". Like I said, cash grab.

But hey, I'm not saying Mike Epps (the comedian featured) isn't funny cause he can be, just not in "Sell Out". Take for instance his 2005 outing titled Mike Epps: Inappropriate Behavior. That was hilarious as Epps waxed profusely on Michael Jackson, the TV show Cops, Montel Williams, and Judge Joe Brown. With "Sell Out" he regresses, talking about the effects of cocaine, getting smacked around by your girlfriend, the Will Smith "slap", and straight up infidelity. The material here feels stale and attenuated, only viable for maybe half the film's running time (the other half appears like filler). "You all know darn well I don't come here". Really Mike, I wouldn't have guessed it.

Gift of gab regression and goofy talk show hosts aside, Mike Epps: Ready to Sell Out is filmed in the standard way by director Royale Watkins. You know, how every comedy special is ever filmed, every time. A close-up here, a long shot there, a lateral everywhere, all while Epps does his usual shtick of prowling the stage. To say Mike Epps is off his A game this time is like saying snow is frozen water. It's just a fact as he's on and off the screen faster than a speeding bullet. Maybe if the vehicle was formed like 1987's Eddie Murphy Raw it could be something of value. Like add a skit at the beginning with real actors or add some interviews later on from actual audience members. That way Mike Epps: Ready to Sell Out would do more than just be you know, "selling out". Natch.

Written by Jesse Burleson

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