First Sunday

“First Sunday” stars rough and tough Ice Cube, joker Tracy Morgan and co-stars funny man Katt Williams. It’s written and directed by David E. Talbert and this is his first well-known movie.

Two life long buddies, Durell (Ice Cube) and LeeJohn (Tracy Morgan), get caught up in paying a Jamaican gangster his money. LeeJohn comes up with the most immoral plan anyone can think of and, at the same time, Durell has to help out his family or he will lose his kid. This all heads in the direction of a petty crime that cost them 5000 hours of community service and LeeJohn’s impervious plan.

Ice Cube’s recent film isn’t truly a comedy. It does have a couple funny moments (ALL of which were spoiled in the trailer), but this film awkwardly crosses into the area of being a mawkish melodrama. Other than resorting to funny moments, it ends up trying to send a flimsy and lighthearted moral that isn’t quite as powerful as they were hoping. This is definitely something I wasn’t expecting and resulted in disappointment rather than amusement. This dramedy [Yes, I said dramedy] isn’t as reluctant to turn to unmannered behavior and foul language, without being offensive (something I enjoy more and was executed in the Friday series).

I do respect Ice Cube’s choice in movies lately with most of them being family friendly and non-violent comedies. The only real problems here are the clumsy and off-guard approach to stirring up a moral and the fact that it’s bombarded with melodramatic subplots (all of which aren’t very funny). Most of the subplots try to generate tears of joy. It was a sketchy attempt, but I do respect it. A minor problem was bad marketing. The trailer gives the impression this was going to be a hilarious comedy event in tradition to the Friday series, but it wasn’t. This isn’t the movie’s fault. I enjoyed it, although I was disgruntled at David E. Talbert’s turn from comedy to melodrama.

Katt William’s kindles up some one-liners sure to make you giggle or even get in a good laugh. Overall, this dramedy feels absurdly uneven. A number of funny parts are offset by the uncountable subplots with a startling dramatic effect. Sound lumpish? Well it is. I like Ice Cube and admire his shift into the family friendly movie zone, but this one just feels overpowered by sappy and formulaic material.

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