The Wash

Movie Information

Genre: Comedy
Director: D.J. Pooh
Starring: Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, George Wallace, Angell Conwell
Rated: R

No sooner do we lose one Snoop Dogg picture than we get another. Conspiracy or blessing? You decide. I have no idea for whom this movie was made and even less of an idea as to why Lion’s Gate Films (usually associated with “art” films) released it. It is, I suppose, a comedy, but it’s not a very funny one. The film is very obviously inspired by Michael Schultz’s Car Wash, despite claims from writer-director D.J. Pooh (can that be his birth name?) that the two “just happen to be set in a similar environment and both include a cast of well-known comedians and also have a highly-anticipated soundtrack.” I’m not altogether sure who is anticipating The Wash’s soundtrack (one song seems to be the mainstay of the soundtrack on the film itself), but in one sense he’s right. Car Wash differs greatly from The WashCar Wash was actually funny. Any 30 seconds of Antonio Fargas in Car Wash is worth the entirety of The Wash. The funniest thing in the film is an advertisement for the law offices of Pooh Parker (“You wanna sue? I gits you yo money.”) on the back of a bench. The saddest thing about the film is that both Dr. Dre and George Wallace are appealing performers and both are having to make do with the most threadbare material. Of course, as co-executive producer of the film, Dre has no one but himself to blame for this. Wallace (best known in films for his work in A Rage in Harlem and Postcards from the Edge) is so good and such a natural comic that he almost convinces you that anything he does is funny, but ultimately it’s obvious that there’s just nothing for him to work with here. And then there’s Snoop Dogg himself. Put bluntly, he can’t act and he isn’t funny. He spends most of his screen time exuding attitude and trying to look “bad.” If he so much as smiled once in the movie, I must have blinked. The plot — such as it is — has Snoop Dogg getting his buddy, Dr. Dre, a job at the car wash where he works. Trouble follows when Dre is made an assistant manager and takes his job rather more seriously than Dogg would like, since it cuts into his drug-dealing sideline, sexual antics in the washroom, and stealing supplies (Dogg, by the way, is one of the film’s heroes). There’s not much more to it than that, except for Wallace being kidnapped by a pair of profoundly stupid thugs and being rescued by our heroes (mostly because they won’t otherwise get paid). You sit through the film hoping that something — anything — will happen to enliven the basic tedium and it never does. At least, maybe you sit through the film. The only other spectator at the show I attended left well before the ending credits rolled. Myself, I was wishing I was sitting through Bones a second time.

About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress from December 2000 until his death in June 2016. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

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