It's all spies, bombs and afros this week as two very different movies that both revolve around sinister plots and special agents hit theaters: tense, nuclear thriller "The Sum of All Fears" and slapstick farce "Undercover Brother."
"The Sum of All Fears" marks Ben Affleck's debut as Jack Ryan, the CIA hero created by author Tom Clancy and previously portrayed onscreen by Harrison Ford and Alec Baldwin. The Jack Ryan that Affleck plays is younger and less polished than the season veteran that Ford brought to life in 1994's "Clear and Present Danger" and 1992's "Patriot Games."
In "The Sum of All Fears," (click for photos from the movie) Affleck is hot on the trail of a missing nuclear weapon, joined by fellow CIA man Morgan Freeman ("Seven") and the president, James Cromwell ("Babe"). Affleck spoke extensively about the movie during a recent MTV "Movie House" "Ask" segment.
"Undercover Brother," (click for photos from the movie) also featured in a recent "Movie House" episode, is comedian Eddie Griffin's ode to such Blaxploitation classics as "The Mack" and "Superfly," with a little bit of "Austin Powers" thrown in for good measure. Griffin, last seen as a convict opposite DJ Qualls in "The New Guy," plays Anton Jackson, a platform-shoe-wearing, afro'd secret agent out to stop "the man" from derailing a black presidential candidate's campaign. Chris Kattan of "Saturday Night Live" plays an agent of "the man," who wants to turn all of the world's black people into white people. Comedian David Chappelle ("Screwed") plays "Conspiracy Brother" and Denise Richards ("Wild Things") is Penelope Snow, or "White She Devil." The movie also boasts appearances from the Godfather of Soul, James Brown, Billy Dee Williams and Neil Patrick Harris, who played the namesake character in "Doogie Howser, M.D." for several years on network television.