Review: Death at a Funeral
You almost have to question a remake of a film that's only a few years old. After seeing the film I have to say I was pleasantly surprised, and it became very obvious why they remade it. They hit a totally different demographic, and still managed to stick close to the original yet still add it's individual twists. I saw the remake first, then watched the original.
Aaron (Chris Rock) has just lost his father. All he wants to do is get through the day. He has a lot to deal with, his absent/immature younger brother Ryan (Martin Lawrence) his emotional mother (Loretta Devine) ovulating wife (Regina Hall)and crazy uncle Russell. (Danny Glover) Not to mention they deliver the wrong body in the coffin, his cousin Elaine (Zoe Saldana) has accidentally given her new boyfriend (James Marsden) an acid-laced pill that she mistakes for Valium and he is nervous about giving a eulogy when his critical family thinks Ryan (who is a famous author) should be the one to do it. There's plenty of other familiar faces in the film as well. Luke Wilson and Tracy Morgan play family friends, and Peter Dinklage plays a stranger that is ready to make this day even worse.
I was expecting a lot of cheesy comedy, especially from Tracy Morgan. I was happy to find that the film actually had some real laughs. It had a wide variety of jokes and not just the same thing over and over. James Marsden stole the show by far. In the original this part was played by the always funny Alan Tudyk, but Marsden excels. After a disappointing turn in 'The Box' Marsden comes back full force. He's spot on throughout and we even get a little listen to his awesome singing voice! Rock and Lawerence have great chemistry, as did Tracy Morgan and Columbus Short. Danny Glover gave a little gem of a performance, and the only person that really lacked was Luke Wilson.
The pacing is good and it keeps you laughing. It's not the funniest film out there, but it's one of the better ones we've seen so far this year. The ending is predictable, but it almost doesn't matter. The movie's purpose was to make you giggle, and it succeeds. Is it better than the original? It's hard to say.. I enjoyed both.
Memorable Quote: "It's on my cheek..." - Jeff (Columbus Short)