“Death at a Funeral” is the American version of the British film of the same title. Since the 2007 version is only now coincidentally rearing its head in my Netflix queue I won’t see it until next week. Based on the bits I’ve seen I can probably deduce two things: 1) This is nearly a scene-for-scene remake; 2) It isn’t as understated as the British version. Both of these things should prove fatal, at least for a cinema lover like myself I *hope* that it’s fatal lest we see even more awful attempts at overseas comedy remakes. For crying out loud we (America/Hollywood) are already doing it to the horror genre without shame, not to mention the reboots, I’d like to see more original films is all I’m saying.
Why you’ll like it:
You like Tyler Perry movies/sitcoms; crude idiotic humor
The premise is simple enough: a family is burying one of its respectable elders, and the eldest son is trying to survive the outbreak of idiotic family issues. The problems are essentially too numerous to list…. which doesn’t mean I’m not going to try my hardest. Before I do that I will throw in the two good pieces of comedy that actually made me laugh which is Kevin Hart and James Marsden. Kevin Hart plays his role perfectly, sly and beneath the surface, genuine deadpan humor and he got a few solid laughs out of me. Marsden did the polar opposite, but his role called for it after he inadvertently takes a hallucinogenic and he knocks it out of the park with the funniness.
Now, if you’re a fan of forced over-the-top humor (read: Larry the Cable Guy or any of Martin Lawrence’s latest shtick) then you’re going to love this since it’s filled with loud riotous attempts at comedy. I hated it. The whole “lowest common denominator” of poop jokes and Martin’s now-unbearable style make the vast majority of this “Comedy” branded movie rather lame and dated, assuming it could ever have been “not-dated”, which would make it single. Yes, it should stay single and live as a hermet destined to die a miserable, lonely, pitiless death.
None of the characters even resemble humans, they seemed more like short-written one-dimensional children running around with a hefty scoop of self importantce. Nearly all the lines are delivered DOA, and more than once I loathed the attempt at creating actual emotion. Even the likes of excellent actress Zoe Saldana could not make me believe there was any substance to what she was saying.
Why you won’t like it:
You have a higher sense of comedy than a 36 month-old child.
I suppose I could continue to rip into this effortless movie reliant on obvious big eyed surprises and generic, bland, lifeless characters, but frankly I need to shower to get the filth off. In the mean time I’ll be hoping the British version finds itself as clever as I’ve been hearing, because this was more like a death at a theater.
2 out of 5 stars.
Starring: Chris Rock, Martin Lawrence, Zoe Saldana, Keith David, James Marsden
Director: Neil LaBute
Release Date: April 16, 2010