"Let me get this straight: our dad was "bromantically" involved with a guy that could fit in his pocket, and you're mad because he's white?"Typically Chris Rock fails to impress me in his movies though I think his standup is hilarious. But in his new movie Death At A Funeral, which he also executive produced, he gets a solid A for effort. Teaming up with IT girl Zoe Saldana, comedians Martin Lawrence and Tracy Morgan, the legendary Danny Glover and Loretta Divine, James Marsden, Columbus Short and Luke Wilson, Rock instantly created a hodgepodge of new and vintage talent effortlessly caught on screen.
Borrowing from the original British film, Death follows a grieving family on the brink of burying their patriarch at an unexpectedly wild funeral complete with an LSD trip, the unveiling of a scandalous family secret, and even toilet humor.
Though the trailer severely spoils most of the funny parts of the movie, seeing Chris Rock and Martin Lawrence together on screen was like a comedic dream. Both both comedians were slightly overshadowed by the over-the-top hilarious performance by James Marsden (who redeemed himself from the his ill-fated The Box), whose character Oscar spent much of the movie drugged and loopy allowing for great physical comedy. But really all the actors, including Zoe Saldana, really held their own. It's not a great movie, but far exceeds expectation and remains very true to the original film but with a clever African-American slant (which may actually make it even funnier). It wasn't stereotypical or bland, just a good time at the movies.
Death At A Funeral hits theaters April 16.
Reel Talk rating: B