Life (1999) / Comedy-Thriller

MPAA Rated: R for strong language and a shooting
Running Time: 108 min.

Cast: Eddie Murphy, Martin Lawrence, Obba Babatunde, Ned Beatty, Bernie Mac
Director: Ted Demme
Screenplay: Robert Ramsey, Matthew Stone

Review published November 12, 2000

The story of two innocent men who served 65 years for a murder they had nothing to do with, framed by a local sheriff. The tale is told in flashbacks, about their life in the hard knock prison camp and their attempts to find happiness and hopefully freedom.

Hit-and-miss that surprisingly achieves its good moments through flashes of drama amid the rather mediocre comedy pieces. Some people will recognize liberal lifting of ideas from such prison films as Cool Hand Luke and The Shawshank Redemption, but obviously the film would rather play for laughs than in any political commentary.

Murphy (Holy Man, The Nutty Professor) and Lawrence (Bad Boys, Boomerang) do what they can ad-libbing through a script without inspiration, and occasionally deliver a few off-the-cuff remarks worthy of a chuckle. Almost worth watching for the final blooper during the end credits, as it's the only hearty laugh you may have the whole film.

Qwipster's rating:

2000 Vince Leo