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In the trailers for Malibu’s Most Wanted, Jamie Kennedy seems to have that Seth Green thing going on: the forever-young look of a slight, smooth-faced man who can easily pass for a wanksta kid screwing up his dad’s political career. But spend the better part of 86 minutes looking at this 6-foot-1, 32-year-old jackass, and the joke—and there’s only one—wears thin. Kennedy plays B-Rad (aka Brad Gluckman), a wannabe rapper who fell in love with hiphop as a wee playa. (Flashbacks showing a blond tyke raisin’ the roof may go for the obvious laugh, but you’ll be grateful for these brief moments of levity.) When advisers to B-Rad’s father, gubernatorial candidate Bill Gluckman (Ryan O’Neal), sense that his son’s embarrassing pseudo-lifestyle may be hurting his campaign, they arrange to have B-Rad mock-kidnapped and taken to the ‘hood to “scare the black out of him.” Yeah, Blair Underwood says it, but that doesn’t make it OK. And the movie’s mouthfuls of rap dialect are grating coming from Kennedy and simply unnatural-sounding coming from, say, Ally McBeal veteran Regina Hall, who plays B-Rad’s South Central-dwelling love interest—a piece of miscasting that’s embarrassingly emphasized by a Snoop Dog cameo. Taye Diggs and the traditionally underused Anthony Anderson are mildly funny as classically trained actors who dramatically search for their inner thugs to pose as kidnappers “Bloodbath” and “Tre,” and an 8 Mile-like battle scene featuring B-Rad’s butt cleavage is an unfortunate highlight. But the earnestness with which Kennedy embodies his black-sheep character keeps Malibu from stretching its joke to full-out hilarity: Too much like a 15-year-old, B-Rad gets his feelings hurt, acts confused about his identity, and just wants everyone to know that he really does feel like a mad rapper on the inside. The result—a character who’s annoying when he’s confident and pitiful when he’s not—is a good indication that it’s time for Kennedy to start acting his age. —Tricia Olszewski