When Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg took the stage at the Super Bowl halftime show on Sunday, they brought a lot of history with them. After all, this is the team that gave the world “Nuthin but a ‘G’ Thang,” the Doggystyle album, “Still D.R.E.,” the 2000 Up in Smoke arena tour, and one of the all-time-great Coachella sets back in 2012. Without any doubt, they are one of the mightiest duos in rap history, rivaled only by the likes of Outkast, Run the Jewels, and Eric B. and Rakim.
But there is one minor blemish on their record in the form of the 2001 comedy flick The Wash. For those not familiar with this particular motion picture, it was written and directed by DJ Pooh (co-writer of Friday) and starred Dre and Snoop as two roommates who take a job at a car wash after nearly getting evicted from their apartment. They eventually get wrapped up in a wacky kidnapping scheme when their boss vanishes, and they learn a lot about friendship and hard work before the whole thing ends. Along the way, they encounter characters played by Eminem, George Wallace, Ludacris, Shaq, Kurupt, Xzibit, and even Pauly Shore. Check out the trailer right here.
This was a clear attempt to create another Friday. That movie was a box-office smash and it turned Dre’s former N.W.A bandmate Ice Cube into a genuine movie star. Unfortunately, Friday had a significantly stronger script than The Wash. And to put it charitably, Dre doesn’t have Cube’s onscreen presence. The Wash has an eight percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
“A 100% feeble comedy that exposes the dire acting abilities of two otherwise well respected hip-hop artists,” reads a typical review from the BBC. “Snoop Dogg’s character is so genuinely unpleasant, and Dre such an uncomfortable actor, that the film soon degenerates into an obscenity-strewn clash of puerile humor and plain nastiness.”
The Wash opened in theaters on Nov. 16, 2001. This was opening weekend for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and the third week of Monsters, Inc., so there was no way it was going to compete with those two. But it was also bested by Shallow Hal, Domestic Disturbance, Heist, The One, and even the Kevin Spacey alien debacle K-Pax. In the end, The Wash grossed $10 million on a $7 million budget. When you factor in marketing, it probably broke even at best.
Snoop continued to take on occasional roles in films like Starsky & Hutch, Mac & Devin Go to High School, and The Big Bang, but The Wash ended Dr. Dre’s career as an actor. He’d simply have to settle for life as a billionaire mogul and revered elder statesmen of hip-hop. And if he ever wants to make The Wash II, he has more than enough money to fund it himself. Just don’t expect that to happen anytime soon.