CHRIS ROCK MARTIN LAWRENCE TRACEY MORGAN ZOE SALDALNA JAMES MARSDEN LUKE WILSON DANNY GLOVER LORETTA DEVINE
REGINA HALL PETER DINKLAGE
DEATH AT A FUNERAL
We all remember the first time we saw this film, it was only two years ago and British. Now it has been remade for American audiences, Tyler Perry style. What I see for a film like this is desperation and the cast list further advertises that. Every one of the actors listed here are struggling to find substantial work in Hollywood (except for Tracey Morgan). You have actors from television, comedies and even acclaimed actors like Glover all coming together for a movie that didn’t do that well the first time around. There is nothing more or less funny in this version, the story has no anticipation because we already know the ending, similar to Titanic.
Rival brothers Aaron (Rock) and Ryan (Lawrence) are preparing for their father’s funeral. With all the family coming in for the service, Aaron jealous of Ryan’s success in writing has decided to give the eulogy to promote his own talent. When a surprise 4 foot guest arrives at the funeral, the brothers learn that their dad had a few dark and flamboyant secrets. The rest of the family have their own issues, one was accidently given acid and is acting like a mad person, another gets splattered with “doo-doo”, while mother and widow Cynthia (Devine) tries to get through it all.
I can’t remember another example of a film being remade so close together, in the same language just with different colored skin. The tiny elements that were changed with the script are not enough to make this version worth watching if you have seen the other. It’s a quick and easy film slapped together with nothing new to offer in hopes of banking profit off those who are unaware another version exist. Rock needed this film to succeed badly because of his recent decline in popularity and lack of interest in projects.
Using popular short man Peter Dinklage (The Station Agent) in both versions of the film at least says something about the respect for the first version. I am disappointed with director Neil LaBute who at one time delivered edgy dramatic comedies like Nurse Betty and The Shape of Things, he seems to also find himself in that same desperate situation to deliver something more mainstream. This new version of Death at a Funeral also failed at the box office and it’s not surprising even the trailer failed to grab any eager attention and I think audiences have finally begun to figure out tricks of trailers.
Final Thought – You can’t do the same exact movie, with different actors and expect it to succeed, especially when it wasn’t good to begin with.
By: Dustin Chase W.
Editor: Jennifer Gih