May 30, 2023
Ithaca, NY | 82°F


Characters bring comedy to funeral

The death of a family member is no laughing matter. But family reunions can be. “Death at a Funeral” combines wild characters and insane antics to make this funeral funny.

“Death at a Funeral” introduces audiences to a myriad of characters connected to Aaron’s (Chris Rock) deceased father. As the family shows up, tensions and complications arise between brothers Aaron and Ryan (Martin Lawrence) and former lovers Elaine (Zoe Saldana) and Derek (Luke Wilson).

“Death at a Funeral,” based on the 2007 film of the same name directed by Frank Oz, reproduces the original film scene for scene. With the exception of an African-American cast in the new release versus the British cast in the 2007 version, the movies are carbon copies.

Rock is fine when his character is under stress, but otherwise he acts with a blandness that hardly resembles a mourning son.

The strong writing is carried over from the original film. There are moments when the movie resorts to sillier jokes, such as literal potty humor. But the kooky characters and their ridiculous stories make “Death at a Funeral” funny.

Though this is a formidable recreation, this film loses most of its credit because of its lack of originality. This film has been done before, and a person doesn’t need to see both to appreciate the story.

“Death at a Funeral” was written by Dean Craig and directed by Neil LaBute.