Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes
This might be the first movie about player-haters that's not hateful itself.
Ebert & Roeper:
Jamie Kennedy's B-Rad is based on a character from his TV show -- and as the centerpiece for a sketch, he's hilarious. But the B-Rad joke wears thin when stretched across a feature-length film.
As with most movies that start as comic sketches -- much of the Saturday Night Live franchise, for example -- the funny ideas and characters are rarely fleshed out enough to justify 90 minutes.
New York Times:
When it works, Malibu's Most Wanted ... scores glancingly as a mischievous social satire lampooning spoiled suburban white boys who play at being black, as well as the hyper-macho attitudes and vocabulary of actual gangsta rappers.
Los Angeles Times:
Director John Whitesell and Kennedy and a clutch of his co-writers mine this improbable premise for more comic cultural satire than one might expect, but after an hour, or two-thirds of the film, they run out of gas.
Dallas Morning News:
It's just the sort of slight, thrown-together mess you would expect from a movie based on a character from a TV show.
Kennedy identifies with B-rad's ghetto-envy on some level, but his humor is too broad to be subversive, too bland to qualify as satire.
At its worst, Malibu's Most Wanted resembles a 10th-generation dupe of some bottom-dwelling teen comedy daubed with fake family uplift.
New York Daily News:
This cinematic territory has been picked clean, especially recently with Bringin' Down the House and its ilk.
San Francisco Chronicle:
As a star vehicle for Kennedy, Malibu doesn't advance the ball, but the timing could be perfect to grab the eager-for -the-end -of-school crowd.
Minneapolis Star Tribune:
B-rad's rapping is so bad it's irritating. That part is intentional. The rest of the movie's irritation just comes naturally.
Maybe in a half-hour format, the idea would stand up. But in a feature film, B-Rad's schtick seems like a one-note song.
Think of a B-grade Bulworth with lesser talents than A-listers Warren Beatty and Halle Berry.
What could have been a wily satire on contempo racial politics and culture, Malibu's Most Wanted ultimately implodes, letting down the 'hood, hip-hoppers and Jamie Kennedy fans looking forward to his first major starring role.
Most Wanted isn't aiming for social commentary, but it isn't too difficult to enjoy its good-natured humor.