Bil’s rating (out of 5): B.
USA, 2003. DreamWorks, 3 Arts Entertainment. Screenplay by Chris Rock, Ali LeRoi. Cinematography by Donald E. Thorin. Produced by Ali LeRoi, Chris Rock, Michael Rotenberg. Music by DJ Quik, Marcus Miller. Production Design by Steven J. Jordan. Costume Design by Amanda Sanders. Film Editing by Stephen A. Rotter.
After a presidential candidate dies in a plane crash, members of his party decide to promote a completely hopeless candidate in order to build prestige for themselves in the election following the current one. Chris Rock plays a ruthlessly mouthy, totally unorthodox Washington, D.C. alderman (in a state that does not have aldermen) who catches the eye of campaign managers Lynn Whitfield and James Rebhorn and convinces them with his appearance and manner that his image couldn’t possibly translate into the presidency. Little do they know that Rock has some issues up his sleeve that he plans to deal with on his campaign, and he just might win the people over enough to actually see this project through. The cast is likeable, but Rock himself has written and directed a boring turkey that has every opportunity to open up the debates he inspires with his intelligent stand-up comedy, and never manages to come anywhere near doing it. Films like The Candidate, Bulworth and Duck Soup already managed to cover all the ground that is dealt with here, and did so with much more grace and creativity. Rock’s thematic speeches are constantly at odds with the juvenile physical humour and ridiculous sight gags, not to mention a nauseous romantic subplot that goes nowhere fast until an abrupt ending. There are a few funny moments here and there, but all of them combined make for a very entertaining two-minute trailer; the rest is garbage.