Kingdom Come

"OK"

Kingdom Come Review


Director Doug McHenry strikes an impressively deft balance between slapstick and subtlety, satire and sincerity in the dysfunctional family funeral comedy "Kingdom Come."

Combining earnestly conflicted devotion with over-the-top raillery in much the same way "All In the Family" once did, the story concerns a clan called the Slocumbs gathering in their rural home town to say goodbye to an irascible patriarch. Daddy Bud, as he was known, was so universally disliked that his wife (Whoopi Goldberg) actually wants his headstone engraved with the eulogy "mean and surly."

The dead man's eldest son Ray Bud (LL Cool J) was probably closest to him, but his most vivid memory is of Daddy Bud ridiculing him over his drinking problem -- a problem he licked some time ago, although the stress of the funeral may cause a relapse.

Driving to town in a smoking beater of a junk yard sedan is younger son Junior (Anthony Anderson), the failed inventor/entrepreneur of a driveway polisher (?!?), who now lives in a trailer park with a constantly sassing harpy wife (Jada Pinkett Smith) and an unruly brood of hyperactive rugrats.

Rounding out the kinfolk is Daddy Bud's sister (Loretta Devine), who spends her time spouting scripture, passing judgement on everyone's lives, especially that of her do-nothing son (Darius McCrary), who is happy coasting through life on welfare.

Uniformly honest and affectionate performances engage the audience in the lives of this realistic ensemble, and the family dynamic rings admirably true as everyone struggles with mixed feelings about the not-so-dearly departed and about each other.

But what makes "Kingdom Come" so very entertaining is its carefully constructed cavalcade of crafty humorous asides and outright outrageous moments of screwball comedy.

Anderson and Pinkett Smith are an over-the-top riot as the quarrelsome trailer-trash couple, and their exaggerated antics are reinforced with astute little details that make their characters seem all the more true to life. Example: Pinkett Smith -- whose precision screwball performance is half Lucille Ball, half reptile -- clearly hasn't shaved her pits in a couple weeks.

But "Kingdom Come" isn't all about this currently fashionable brand of full-volume comedy. McHenry seems to have a sixth sense about which laughs to overplay, like letting Pinkett Smith chew scenery with ravenous aplomb, and which to underplay. Lots of hearty giggles come from the smallest details, like the funeral minister's lisp or the very brief shot of the hearse after it's been TP-ed by Smith and Anderson's uncontrollable children.

Even when this movie is at its most outrageous, however, all the Slocumbs still feel like real people with depth and soul. LL Cool J, playing a mechanic, has surprisingly solid blue-collar credibility. Vivica A. Fox strikes exactly the right tone as his wife, the family peacekeeper. Whoopi Goldberg -- who is a very hit-and-miss actor -- gives a steady, earnest turn as the matriarch who does not mince words.

Adapted from the play "Dearly Departed" by its original writers David Bottrell and Jessie Jones, "Kingdom Come" is a movie of nuances that I can't do justice to without describing entire scenes or spoiling jokes that out of context just won't make you laugh out loud like they will in the picture. I feel like I've done a disservice by not describing the film better in this review, but I don't know what else to say except, go see it. You'll be pleasantly surprised.



Facts and Figures

Run time: 94 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 11th April 2001

Box Office USA: $22.6M

Budget: $3M

Distributed by: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Production compaines: Matchbox Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 28%
Fresh: 18 Rotten: 46

IMDB: 5.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: Ryan Barrett as Sam, Camille Hollett-French as Jessica, Jason Martorino as Daniel, William Foley as Charles

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Zoolander 2 Movie Review

Zoolander 2 Movie Review

With virtually the same blend of wit and idiocy as the 2001 original, this fashion-scene...

A Bigger Splash Movie Review

A Bigger Splash Movie Review

Italian filmmaker Luca Guadagnino (I Am Love) reteams with Tilda Swinton for this fresh, tricky...

Deadpool Movie Review

Deadpool Movie Review

Both the filmmakers and the characters on-screen are so pleased with themselves that this might...

Trumbo Movie Review

Trumbo Movie Review

An entertaining film about sobering true events, this is the story of notorious screenwriter Dalton...

Goosebumps Movie Review

Goosebumps Movie Review

Mixing the action, comedy and horror from novelist R.L. Stein's books into a family-friendly package,...

Dad's Army Movie Review

Dad's Army Movie Review

The beloved 1970s British sit-com gets the big screen treatment, although there's been very little...

Spotlight Movie Review

Spotlight Movie Review

This film demonstrates that you don't need guns to make an exciting thriller. Based on...

Advertisement
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi Movie Review

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi Movie Review

Not the subtlest director working in Hollywood, Michael Bay brings his surging machismo to this...

Dirty Grandpa Movie Review

Dirty Grandpa Movie Review

There's nothing clever about this deliberately rude and vulgar comedy, but certain audiences will find...

The Big Short Movie Review

The Big Short Movie Review

Smart and snappy, this comedy is one of the scariest films of the year, using...

The 5th Wave Movie Review

The 5th Wave Movie Review

Also based on the first in a trilogy of post-apocalyptic teen novels, this thriller feels...

Ride Along 2 Movie Review

Ride Along 2 Movie Review

Ice Cube and Kevin Hart reteam for a sequel no one really asked for, following...

Room Movie Review

Room Movie Review

One of the most extraordinary films of the year, this drama cleverly weaves in events...

Creed Movie Review

Creed Movie Review

While this film is basically Rocky VII, it's also much more than that, and perhaps...

A Perfect Day Movie Review

A Perfect Day Movie Review

An irreverent comedy in the style of the original M.A.S.H., this wartime romp takes an...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.