Review Date:
Director: Ted Demme
Writer: Robert Ramsey and Matthew Stone
Producers: Brian Grazer and Eddie Murphy
Eddie Murphy as Ray Gibson, Martin Lawrence as Claude Banks
Two innocent black men get sentenced to life in the South, after they are found hovering over a dead man’s body. All of their time in jail is spent trying to get out, and attempting to be funny.
A disappointing film for the two main stars, this movie offers a few chuckles here and there, no laugh out loud scenes, a lot of retreading scenarios involving prisoners trying to escape, rape one another, and ending up in “the hole”, alongside an unimaginative plot and a cast of unbelievably wholesome jailbirds. I kept waiting for this film to “break out” in one scene or another, but it never really did. In fact, it actually went the other way, and decided to add a few touching scenes near the end, just to let us know that “Hey folks, jail isn’t all that funny in real life!”. Yeah, well…whatever. Note to Eddie Murphy: Enough of the prosthetics, dude…stop hiding behind all of that make-up and start choosing some scripts that truly bring out your innate humor.

Much like the rest of the night’s audience, I still could not resist chuckling along to Murphy and Lawrence’s foul mouths (especially when they were in their old men makeup), but obviously, you do not base a complete comedy on stars talking about “mutherf**ker this” and “mutherf**ker” that! I couldn’t have cared less about the characters or the story line, and most certainly would not recommend this film to anyone looking for interesting characters, an interesting story line or an original idea. Even the final scene was contrived and unbelievable, just for the sake of the conclusion. My gut instinct always tells me to stay away from comedies whose trailers do not even make me crack a smile. This film’s trailer had me wondering if it was even a drama or not, so I guess my sixth sense came through on this one. Having said that, if you actually do find the film’s teaser to be appealing, and really love Murphy or Lawrence, you may just want to catch this movie…on video. All in all, this life sucks.

(c) 2021 Berge Garabedian




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