Dave White
First Sunday Review

Dave's Rating:


… amiable enough and less stupid than you'd
guess …

Who's in It: Ice Cube, Tracy Morgan, Katt Williams

The Basics: Straight outta High Concept Land, two not-so-bad losers decide they need to rob a church full of nice church people. It all turns into a hostage standoff, and the church people teach them how to be good. And I suppose that's a spoiler. But only if you've never actually seen a movie and think that a comedy featuring crooks and church people together in a room won't turn out that way.

What's the Deal? It's kind of beside the point to call this out for being dopey and lowest common denominator when it seems to already know that about itself. I'd sooner criticize it for not being as funny as it should be and for going right for the cheap sentimentality. But it's amiable enough, and it's less stupid than you'd guess, and you'll laugh enough so that you won't feel too robbed yourself.

Who Keeps It Rolling: Morgan, who has a repertoire of goofy faces and one of the most determined deliveries of anyone around, makes non-sequiturs and lines that shouldn't work at all seem like he pulled them out of thin air. Then he swats them out of the park. Although I hope this doesn't mean he's going to stick to the mediocre scripts — because he deserves a movie as cool and funny as his TV series 30 Rock — he can at least survive one if that's what he ends up in.

Who Shouldn't Bother Seeing It: Anyone annoyed by the Tyler Perry-fication of African-American comedy, a formula that pretty much consists of lowbrow sitcom antics that get drowned in the third act with the high-fructose corn syrup of heartwarming come-to-Jesus-isms. Of course, those make a lot of money, so the fans of that sort of thing seem to outnumber the annoyed.

Homophobe-O-Meter: About a five on a scale of one to 10. Williams, as the cowardly sissy choir director, is the kind of ineffectual clown that would be offensive if you wanted to take this seriously on any level in the first place.


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