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Case Number 01846

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The Wash

Lionsgate // 2001 // 96 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge Patrick Naugle // April 26th, 2002

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All Rise...

The Charge

Snizzle bizzle, pizzle! (or something like that)—Snoop Dogg

Opening Statement

Remember that old '70s movie Car Wash with Richard Pryor? Well, I don't. I do, however, remember seeing the box cover (adorned with Pryor's grimace and sparklingly white choppers) and thinking, "that's a pimp rental if I've ever seen one!" I guess someone in Hollywood remembered that cult classic—out of ashes of the past comes the remake The Wash starring two of rap's biggest stars, Dr. Dre (Training Day) and Snopp Dogg (Bones). Directed by D.J. Pooh (3 Strikes) and also starring comedian George Wallace (Little Nicky), The Wash comes clean on DVD care of Lions Gate Home Entertainment.

Facts of the Case

Meet Sean (Dre) and Dee Loc (Dogg), two best buds who spend their days in Los Angeles listening to rap music, hangin' with the ladies, and smokin' weed. Things are going pretty smooth for our heroes…until Sean gets his car repossessed and a threat of eviction if they can't come up with this month's rent! Sean takes some initiative and heads on over to the local car wash (where Dee Loc also works) and applies for an assistant manager position. After an interview with the gruff Mr. Washington (Wallace) and some razzing from the crew, Sean is offered the job and soon becomes Dee Loc's new boss! Suddenly Dee Loc and Sean's friendship falls under a great deal of strain when Sean starts cracking the whip to get his co-workers on task (this includes covering up for Dee Loc's kleptomaniac hobby and attempting to curb the amount of narcotics sold on the premises). At the same time, Sean is trying to woo a beautiful customer while Mr. Washington keeps receiving threatening phone calls from an unidentified caller (rap superstar Eminem). Everything will come to a head when Mr. Washington is suddenly kidnapped and held for ransom, leaving Dee Loc, Sean, and the rest of the car wash crew to come to his rescue!

The Evidence

Obviously, I am not the demographic that The Wash is being aimed at. I am a young white suburbanite who listens to Jackson Browne, watches Frasier, and dances like one of the Thompson Twins. I'm not even close to being this film's intended target audience.

I like Albert Brooks.

I own a minivan.

I'm a geek.

That being said, I didn't really care much for The Wash. It's a foul-mouthed little movie that isn't all that funny. This is a sad statement since lately I've been enamored with Mr. Snoop Dogg, which is an interesting phenomena in and of itself seeing as I was so turned off by the guy just a few scant years ago. His original persona was that of a thug and a gangster who'd whack you with a pistol so much as look at you. In the last few years, Snoop turned into something else—and much more friendly—when he took on a weed smokin' stoner persona who's laid back and flizzin' blizzin' pizzin' (if you know what I mean, and I think you do). In The Wash, Snopp comes off as…well, as Snoop (let's face it, the guy doesn't play a character, he is a character). His role requires him to smoke weed, play hip-hop, and get mad at Dr. Dre's character Sean. Dre's character shows more depth, but not much; his role is limited to acting flustered, giving orders, and trying to mack on the ladies. In real life, Dre and Snoop are apparently friends and working collaborators on both movies and music. It's too bad they couldn't have collaborated on a better script with writer/director D.J. Pooh (who also stars in the film in a surprisingly funny role as a would-be kidnapper with the brain capacity of an eggshell). The screenplay plods on and on, then takes a left turn into the meat of the film when Mr. Washington gets kidnapped. Dee Loc, Sean, and the car wash gang must figure out a way to save him, smoke some weed, then rolls the end credits. There are a multitude of cameo appearances in this film, most notably by NBA star Shaquille O'Neil, stoner Tommy Chong, and has-been comedian Pauley Shore. None of these makes the film worthwhile.

Possibly the most troubling aspect of The Wash is that it never quite makes up its mind as it what it wants to be. There are aspects of wacky comedy, but the film never truly becomes a wacky comedy. If a little more tweaking would have been done with the script this could have been a mildly funny comedy. As it stands the laughs are muted by the often mean spirited attitude of its players, save for George Wallace as Mr. Washington. Like the recent star turn of Bernie Mac in Ocean's 11 and his self-titled TV show, Wallace could have a nice career in front of him if he'd just pick the right material.

While The Wash is certainly not the worst comedy even made (no, that award goes to Tom Green's obnoxiously bad Freddy Got Fingered), it's a far cry from being humorous entertainment. How many times can you hear the word f**k used for comedic effect before you finally hit the fast forward button on your remote? For me it was at about the 45-minute mark. Maybe you should save your three dollars and rent the original Car Wash at your local video store. My guess is that it's funnier, cleaner, and possibly comes with a coat of Turtle Wax.

The Wash is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. This is a fairly clean transfer that sports only a small amount of edge enhancement and artifacting. Aside of those minor problems, this image features some very substantial color patterns and dark black levels. I was actually surprised at how good this transfer looked. Lions Gate has done a decent job of "cleaning up" The Wash.

The audio is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround in English. This is a fairly aggressive soundtrack that utilizes directional sounds during the bass heavy rap songs and throbbing musical beats. Otherwise, there are a few well placed effects in the front and rear speakers, though most of this track is filtered through the front and center speakers only. All aspects of the dialogue, music, and effects are free and clear of any excessive distortion. Also included on this disc are English and Spanish subtitles.

The Wash includes a few extra features, the most substantial being a second disc that contains the film's soundtrack. No track listing is given for the artists on the disc, but you can bet that Dre and Snoop are somewhere on this CD. On the DVD itself there are some interviews with the cast, including Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, D.J. Pooh, George Wallace, Angell Conwell, and Lamont Bentley. The most entertaining of these is, not surprisingly, good old Snoop Dogg. Snoop shows up with some gemstone-encrusted sunglasses and a pimp's hat and discusses the fact that he got to "get some" in his first sex scene on film. The rest of the cast pales in comparison to Mr. Dogg's persona. Oddly, the girl who is interviewing the cast sounds as if this is her first interview…ever.

"Premiere Coverage" is a lot like the previous cast interviews, the difference being that these take place at the premiere of the film. Each of the interviews features the cast member droning on and on about how good the movie is, and how funny everyone was, and et cetera, et cetera. While fans will enjoy watching the stars talk about the film, it doesn't necessarily mean that any extra-added insight to the production will be available.

Finally, there is a music video for the song "Bad Intentions" by Dr. Dre featuring Knoc-Turn'al as well as a theatrical trailer for the film. Bonus trailers are also available on a hidden "Lions Gate" insignia on the bottom of the main menu.

Closing Statement

Snoop, do us all a favor and stay with movies like Bones. While that horror movie certainly wasn't the pinnacle of American cinema, at least it had Pam Grier dressed as a '70s hottie. As for The Wash, it needs its mouth washed out with soap!

The Verdict

The Wash is found guilty of using Snoop Dogg in the wrong way! Case dismissed!

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Scales of Justice

Video: 86
Audio: 90
Extras: 82
Acting: 82
Story: 70
Judgment: 70

Perp Profile

Studio: Lionsgate
Video Formats:
• 1.85:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
• English
• Spanish
Running Time: 96 Minutes
Release Year: 2001
MPAA Rating: Rated R
• Comedy

Distinguishing Marks

• Premiere Interviews
• "Bad Intentions" Music Video
• Cast and Crew Interviews
• Theatrical Trailer
• Bonus Soundtrack CD


• IMDb
• Dr. Dre's Official Site

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Review content copyright © 2002 Patrick Naugle; Site design and review layout copyright © 2016 Verdict Partners LLC. All rights reserved.