The Sixth Man | Chicago Reader

The Sixth Man

Ghost characters tend to be more predictable than human ones. When whatever business keeping them in limbo is resolved—which usually takes about 90 minutes—they go off to heaven. Kadeem Hardison plays the unbelievably naive ghost brother of Marlon Wayans, repeatedly failing to appreciate how difficult it is for his live brother to conceal that he's interacting with someone no one else can see. While this makes for several amusing sight gags as the brothers collaborate to bring their college basketball team to the championship, it renders Hardison more one-dimensional than ethereal. The relationship the brothers had when Hardison was alive is just as complicated after he dies—with Wayans still in the shadow of his more confident brother—but Hardison's ghostliness makes the emotions easier. Instead of dealing with their sibling rivalry, the brothers just exist on different planes, until Wayans realizes how much their bond strains his self-esteem; their ultimate confrontation is more sad than dramatic. The screenplay is by Christopher Reed and Cynthia Carle; Randall Miller directs.

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