Reel Shorts | First Sunday

10 01 2008

A decade ago, Ice Cube carved out a niche as a straight man to a comedic actor in the runaway hit, “Friday.” After several different variations over the years, Cube has clearly outgrown the formula and it shows in his latest film, “First Sunday.”

Teamed with comedian, Tracy Morgan (the least funniest of his comedic co-stars), Cube stars as Durrell who must find a way to raise $17,000 or watch his move his child to Atlanta.

Cube’s Durrell is an intelligent guy who simply makes bad choices, in his career choices and most importantly in his friends. Running around with loser, LeeJohn (Morgan), the two get ensnared in one dumb get rich quick scheme after the next. Soon the two are on the run from some Jamaican gangster who are after them for “pimped-out wheelchairs.”

If Durrell isn’t under enough pressure, his baby’s mama, Omunique (Regina Hall) is doing hair out of her house and if she can’t raise enough money, she leaving town with Durrell’s son. One thing leads to another and the two dimwitted criminals attempt to rob a neighborhood church.

While the film has some funny moments, most of the humor doesn’t work at all. Morgan is horrible as the film’s co-star and Katt Williams is underused as well.

The story is a set up for both of our losers to discover the error of their ways and become solid citizens. Getting to that resolution is the most painful part. There are several subplots which do nothing to enhance the story existing only to fill out the film’s runtime.

There’s a church member trying to embezzle the church’s funds, the pastor’s fine daughter, Tianna (Malinda Williams, whose wardrobe looks like it belongs in another movie) trying to prevent the church from moving out of the hood and a skittish choir leader (Katt Williams) who is trying not to pass out from fright.

Cube reinvented himself as a regular boy in the hood in “Friday” and subsequently grew in stature into a marketable star. Cube is clearly better than the material and he spends the majority of the film looking weary, almost as if he wished he were someplace else.

In one scene, a character looks into the camera and says, “I want to go home.” I know the feeling brother, I know the feeling!

Grade: D

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