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Death at a Funeral a Mediocre Remake

Published April 15, 2010 in Movie Reviews
By Fred Topel | Image property of respective holders
Death at a Funeral Poster Death at a Funeral
To be fair to Death at a Funeral, I didn’t like the British original at all. So to say that the American remake is okay is actually a huge improvement. I guess Americans are just better at mediocrity.

Review: Death at a Funeral


It’s still another one of those family comedies where it’s so adorable how dysfunctional everyone is. As usual, these people are actually mean to each other. They’re basically all A-holes who should be scolded for putting their family beneath their own selfish desires. It’s not cute, it’s really disgusting, more so because audiences say it’s okay. One character stands up to her father in the end, so there’s a good example somewhere in all this.

At least they play this dysfunction for some really inappropriate comedy moments. They have a little more fun with people referencing the funeral in terms of their own needs. The mom’s obsession with having grandkids is shown for what it is when she lays on the pressure in this context.



Chris Rock does little bits while he’s handling problems, referencing Jackie Chan, Burger King and R. Kelly. Tracy Morgan does some abstract riffs on a skin rash, KFC and The Incredible Hulk. Danny Glover actually says his line. I give them props for that. The fiancé on drugs is still really contrived and a totally cheap laugh. They change the poop joke and kind of make it grosser.

Death at a Funeral is at its best when all the characters interact, but they mostly pair them off for less entertaining episodes. Rock plays the pressure of awkward situations well. The set pieces are outrageous and chaos ensues at an appropriate comedic level.

This Death at a Funeral is a totally forgettable comedy with a few real laughs scattered amongst the generic stuff. It’s at least got more energy than the original, so it can coast with the usual American comedies without having to depend on actual jokes.


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Fred Topel
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