28th Aug2019

‘Sextuplets’ Review (Netflix)

by Jak-Luke Sharp

Stars: Marlon Wayans, Bresha Webb, Michael Ian Black, Glynn Turman, Debbi Morgan, Molly Shannon, Grace Junot, Robert Pralgo | Written by Rick Alvarez, Mike Glock, Marlon Wayans | Directed by Michael Tiddes

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Sextuplets, directed by Michael Tiddes, stars Marlon Wayans as not one but six characters in a Peter Seller’s/Eddie Murphy inspired comedy. A feature that not surprisingly plays out more like the Nutty Professor than Dr Strangelove but is nothing like the disaster you would imagine. Sextuplets follows Alan, who is inspired by his pregnant wife, to track down his real family after her Judge father uncovers his original birth certificate. In his efforts, Alan discovers one sibling after another, more absurd and distinctive as time goes on.

Say what you will about Wayans as a performer. However, he and his entertainer family have created an empire of cinematic/television ventures that have shaped a highly successful level of entertainment for audiences. It is stereotypical and often bottom of the barrel stuff but undoubtedly a successful formula that Wayans has exercised to his credit. His latest is much like the description presented above. It is a lowbrow comedic entity that doesn’t showcase much skill or unique prowess within the highly prosperous and formidable market of comedy. It is a lacklustre but also harmless creation from Wayans who knows what works and uses it to his strength.

It’s hard to think that Sextuplets would work anywhere else other than Netflix. For a film born straight out of 1993, it would be a difficult task to market for a major studio. Not made any more accessible with Wayans comedic schtick as a parody performer in the likes of Scary Movie and Haunted House often dramatically falling into the irrelevancy category. And it would seem that Wayans is going down a similar path with this premise with what surely will falter much like his previous exploits.

That being said, the aesthetic is no different from the usual output of Netflix originals. The brightness is always locked in a vivid aesthetic. The camera movements are stiff and often unresponsive or dynamic for the viewer to behold. Once again feeling like its crafted in a manner not too dissimilar to that of television production. Nothing of note is compelling, captivating or engaging and its left to the material to stand its ground.

The material is hardly the weakest aspect either. The viewer gets precisely what they would expect with a specific set of tonal comedy. The comedy often than not does land, but it is hard to distinguish if this improvisation from Wayans or on the page from writers Rick Alvarez and Mike Glock. Nonetheless, when it hits, it does run well, it is the issue of unoriginality that somewhat plagues the events. There is nothing here remotely interesting or unique. Of course, one doesn’t go into this to find a new meaning to all thing’s comedy, and it does succeed with its minimal convictions, but you’re just left a little uninterested by the time the credits roll.

Sextuplets is available to watch on Netflix now.

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