Uncle P DVD CoverWhere does an out-of-work-rapper-turned-business-mogul turn when the entertainment industry is moving on without him? Taking a hint from Ice Cube, Master P steps into the world of kids’ movies.  Although the film doesn’t come out on DVD until June 26th of this year, Uncle P was actually filmed in 2003, two years before the superior Are We There Yet?, so perhaps Ice Cube actually took a hint from Master P, albeit learning from the mistakes of the earlier film. After a thorough viewing it’s no surprise Uncle P sat on the shelf for several years until New Line picked it up for straight-to-video distribution.

In Uncle P, a multi-millionaire rap star, I mean “entertainer”, I mean “business man”, is forced to leave his business and head to California to watch his sister’s kids after she ends up in the hospital due to stress. The title character is played by none other than P. Miller himself, better known as Master P.  When Uncle P arrives to meet his estranged sister’s kids he finds that his oldest niece is insecure and ignored by the boys at her new high school, his nephew (played by his real-life son Romeo) is pushed around by bullies, and his youngest niece is a chronic pants-wetter. Cavalierly tossing out one-liners, and ending most sentences with “ya heard?” Uncle P sets out to make everything right, in his own P way.

Overcompensating for a lack of cohesive narrative, screenwriter Dallas Jackson tosses in several side story-lines in order to eat up the 88 minute feature length of the film. But the three wannabe band girls (the self-named “Three Times Luscious”) are more of an annoying distraction than a clever addition to the film. Much like P. Miller’s girlfriend in the film, the story-line involving said girlfriend isn’t given enough attention and ends up feeling forced and cliche.

The parts that really work in the film are the all-too-brief cameos made by several familiar faces. Cheech Marin shows up for a few key scenes and almost steals the film as a local chop-shop owner named Juan who pimps out P. Miller’s rented Impala. Another funny cameo is made by Tony Cox (Me, Myself, and Irene, Bad Santa) appearing for a few one liners as a brain surgeon. Also, the foul-mouthed bus driver, who has a few bleeped out jokes, makes a strong showing in an ongoing beef with the Miller’s dwarf neighbor, who is inexplicably constantly watering his lawn while his wife lays in a bikini in a lawn chair behind him.

With strong emphasis on not using money to define yourself, while simultaneously advertising the P.Miller brand prominently in the costumes of every character in the film and impressing the school kids by dropping the kids off in a stretch limo, Uncle P comes off a bit contradictory. Also, McDonald’s clearly dropped some marketing dough on this film, as the characters excitedly eat take out from the fast food giant a few times in the course of the picture.

In a disjointed cross between Friday and Full House, Uncle P is a heavy handed pseudo-sentimental attempt at family values and life lessons executively produced by the man who made you say “Ughhhh! na na na na.” Unfortunately, it just left me saying “Ugh!”

For more information on Uncle P, visit the official site

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