Death At A Funeral (2010) review - Matthew MacFadyen and a few familiar faces made a Brit-com about a disastrous funeral. Don’t worry – no one else saw it either. But audiences should be more reverential about this faster, starrier, frame-for-frame remake promising hot women, naked men, scatological gags, comedy murder and druggy chaos.
Frustrated writer and put-upon son Aaron (Chris Rock) is hosting his father’s memorial at the family home and stressing about the eulogy that everyone thinks his flash novelist bro (Martin Lawrence) should deliver. But that’s the least of his problems.
While Pa stiffens up in the coffin, Aaron’s cousin (Zoe Saldana) arrives toting her acid-tripping boyfriend (James Marsden). Her ex (jowly Luke Wilson) is on the trouble-making prowl, elderly Uncle Russell (Danny Glover) has loose bowels and a mysterious dwarf (Peter Dinklage) gate-crashes the ceremony to share some shocking snaps… Jeez, let us pray.
From the get-go DAAF dials-up the hysteria, setting off at a gallop of broad, farcical comedy and not letting up. Corpses roll across the dining room, people run in and out of the house, poo splatters, EVERYone shouts. It’s a frantic pace that disguises Neil LaBute’s unremarkable direction and will quickly exhaust the patience of some. But amid the cacophony are some truly guffaw-worthy moments, and Marsden all but steals the show with his inventive depictions of gleeful hallucinating.
A shame then that Saldana does little more than totter around in heels and Lawrence has a surplus jailbait-perving storyline, while the one-note braying of 30 Rock’s Tracy Morgan irritates by the minute. No wonder Glover craps on him...
Ribald, patchy and chaotic, as zany ensemble comedies go Death At A Funeral 2.0 doesn’t kill it. But star wattage and popcorn briskness means it certainly doesn’t die on its arse either. Amen to that.