*/**** Image B Sound B Extras C
starring Marlon Wayans, Shawn Wayans, Kerry Washington, John Witherspoon
screenplay by Keenen Ivory Wayans & Shawn Wayans & Marlon Wayans
directed by Keenen Ivory Wayans
by Walter Chaw An adult male the size of a baby masquerades as a toddler in order to retrieve a diamond he's stolen and secreted in the purse of a young suburban wife (Kerry Washington) who happens to be contemplating starting a family. This sets the stage for man-baby mistaken for baby-baby jokes, man-baby resenting being mistaken for baby-baby jokes, man-baby trying to suck tits, man-baby raping his adopted mother, and getting-pissed-on gags. Meanwhile, a crotchety old man character (John Witherspoon) suspects foul play but, as he represents the other demographic no one listens to (besides black people), no one listens to him. That's it. Gut the Wayans machine's latest, Little Man, and all that slops out is a Möbius strip of high-concept sketch-comedy garbage that isn't really objectionable (save for the happy rape and the infantilization of a grown man and all that) in any way while actually managing to know itself as owing a debt to Baby Buggy Bunny en route to offering a few nightmarish, surreal images. Marlon and, I think, Shawn are the key instigators of this one, with Keenen (I bet) the man behind the flat, uninvolved camera set-ups and pacing. On the scale of such things, it's not as bad as Son of the Mask, Are We There Yet?, or Problem Child, though it's vastly inferior to Marci X.