Movie Review: Death at a Funeral (2010)

Aaron (Chris Rock) is trying to get through the day as he’s about to bury his father.  The family is coming in and does it become a day and a half.  Ryan (Martin Lawrence), Aaron’s famed published author brother, is coming in – and refuses to help pay for the funeral.  Elaine (Zoe Saldana) accidentally gives her fiancé, Oscar (James Marsden), a hallucinogenic drug when she gives him one of Jeff’s (Columbus Short) apparent ‘valium’.  All at the same time a dwarf named  Frank (Peter Dinklage) claiming to be Aaron’s father’s lover and trying to blackmail Aaron  so that he will keep his father’s secret affair a secret.

This is the remake of the 2007 British film of the same name.  The story remains basically the same from original to the remake.  There are very few jokes that you see had any influence when picked up and moved to the US.  I remember liking the original film a lot.  I still defend it as a fun film to check out, especially if you have nothing to do with the next ninety minutes of your life.  This film follows that recommendation to the T.  I just want to hate it for no reason other than it didn’t need to be made.  There was really no reason why the producer couldn’t point out the fact that there was a funny British comedy out there that you hadn’t seen yet.  I’m sure next on the studio’s ‘to-do’ list is to go and remake Four Weddings and a Funeral starring George Lopez or something with an all Latino cast.

Most of the jokes work because a lot of the characters are the same characters we know and love.  Even though I could deal without having Tracy Morgan run around the house shouting that he thinks he’s going to turn into the Hulk because he had an odd rash.  The highlight of the film for me thought was the dealings of Columbus Short, Zoe Saldana and a very high James Marsden.  Just like in the original – where Alan Tudyk did the same thing – somehow watching this character run around this sober event continually just happy as can be and doing little things like laughing at the sound his knees make when he knocks them together made me smile.

Chris Rock as well as Martin Lawrence needs to get up and admit that their time in film is pretty much over.  Even though I loved Chris Rock’s film last year, Good Hair, here he just feels like he’s trying to hard.  It feels like everyone in the movie was forced to watch the original about five times and then after five minute break they all went and filmed the movie in a day.  It’s sloppy and just a sad waste of resources.  Mostly I’ll just be annoyed every time I’m in a conversation and talk about Death at a Funeral (UK) and people will respond with “ohh the Chris Rock movie!!!”

IMDB says 5.0/10

Rotten Tomatoes says 38%

I say 4.0/10

  • Douglas

    I object, sir. Better than Date Night? I think not.