Death at a Funeral is DOA
Death at a Funeral, which hit theaters today and includes Chris Rock, Martin Lawrence and Tracy Morgan in the list of stars onboard, is getting panned by critics for not living up to the 2007 British original.
"(Director Neil) Labute's Death at a Funeral is virtually a photocopy, in terms of the story it tells and the comedy beats it hits. Yet everything in this version is coarser and more obvious, aimed at a lowest-common-denominator audience," writes Marshall Fine for Huffington Post.
And the British humor, written for repressed British characters, just doesn't translate well with raucous American actors (even though both scripts were written by Dean Craig).
It begs the question: Why can't Chris Rock make a good movie? He's good behind the camera; I Think I Love My Wife, which Rock co-wrote and directed, was critically appreciated, even if his acting chops were not. Good Hairwas similarly well-received. But when Rock tries to act, it's another story. (Think Head of State).
Plenty of comedians have made successful actors — Billy Crystal, Steve Martin, Tina Fey, Richard Pryor, Bill Murray, (basically the entire cast of Saturday Night Live — with the exception of Chris).
What's Rock's problem? Is he too much of a character himself to play anyone else? What do you think?
And Rock is funny in real life (I'd advise listening with headphones, if you're at work):