Thursday, April 15, 2010

Review: Death at a Funeral

Grade: B

Aaron’s father recently died and it was his wishes to have the funeral at his house. It has been a very stressful situation for Aaron, he hasn’t really had time to mourn his father’s death because of the planning, his brother hasn’t helped out at all, and he and his wife are trying to buy a new house and are trying to get pregnant as well. When everybody shows up his stress level shoots through the roof when things go from bad to worse. His cousin’s boyfriend accidently took a hallucinogenic, his mother is hysterical, his uncle is yelling at everybody and a mysterious man is trying to blackmail him over his secret love affair with Aaron’s father.

I was very skeptical of this movie as it is a remake of a hilarious movie that is a whopping 3 years old. The original was a very funny British comedy that was written by Dean Craig and directed by Frank Oz. I did have some faith in this Americanized remake because Dean Craig also wrote the new version. The new Death at a Funeral was almost identical to the original in many ways, even so much as a good chunk of the dialogue is the same. Also, Peter Dinklage (Elf, Find Me Guilty) plays the same character that he did in the 2007 version. Because of this, I really did enjoy this movie and it was very funny and almost as good as the original. I say almost because there is one gag in the original that I barely liked and they brought it back for this one and took it to a far grosser level. Other than that, this movie was very enjoyable.

The movie does have a great cast that helps make it as funny as it is. Chris Rock, (Head of State, Down to Earth) plays Aaron, the son who is trying to have a peaceful funeral. Rock did a great job with this role especially since it’s a very toned down role from what he usually plays. Martin Lawrence (Bad Boys II, Wild Hogs) plays Ryan, Aaron’s successful younger brother. Lawrence did a pretty good job with this role and was entertaining when he needed to be. Zoe Saldana (Avatar, Star trek) plays Elaine, Aarons cousin. Saldana was great and very funny, I really enjoyed her performance in the movie. James Mardsen (Superman Returns, Enchanted) plays Oscar, Elaine’s boyfriend. Mardsen was hands down the funniest person in the movie. His character accidently takes a hallucinogenic and begins to go crazy and everything he does is absolutely hilarious. The cast is too large to talk about but the rest of the cast includes Peter Dinklage, Keith David, Ron Glass, Regina Hall, Danny Glover, Tracy Morgan, Columbus Short, Luke Wilson, Loretta Devine and Kevin Hart.

This movie is really funny and definitely worth watching. I would recommend, however, that you check out the 2007 version as well at some point, it is a great comedy that not too many people know about which is probably why it was remade for American cinema like this.

Great quote: “My father is dead, put on some panties.”

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