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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Early Review: "Death At A Funeral"

"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


Sam Turner said...

Good to see a remake getting some good reviews for a change: I've seen a couple this morning that make similar points to yours. It's a good thing they didn't waste all that talent!

Andrew K. said...

I'm too fond of Chris Rock, (though Down to Earth and Head of State have their moments). Glad to hear your thoughts on this though and like Film Intel above glad to see all that talent didn't go to waste.

Casey said...

I have not seen this movie, but I am really upset by the fact that they are re-making the original british comedy. I loved the original so much and thought it was hilarious. When I so the trailer for this movie it really upset me. Unoriginality doesn't impress me -- this movie, from what I can tell, rips off every single bit of plot that the first movie worked hard to create. The only apparent difference (again, I have not seen the movie yet) is that they add race into the mix of problems, which I don't think is very funny. Maybe it's just because I loved the first movie so much. Maybe i'll get over it in time.

Brittani Burnham said...

I'm glad you liked it. I want to see it, I agree that Chris Rock's standup impresses more than his films do. I'm all for James Marsden redemption too..'The Box' was f**king horrible!

Charreah said...

I agree. It was really funny and much better and cohesive than i expected. Love that "toilet humor" pun as well:)

Karen said...

I only laughed a few times. With all those actors it should have been more funny. Oh well. I'm glad you enjoyed it though. To each their own!

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