Martin Lawrence Live: Runteldat Movie Review
Runteldat operates in much the same fashion as Lawrence's You So Crazy, where he spends 90 minutes barking out offensive remarks punctuated with bookends of profanity. Some of the jokes garnered genuine belly laughter - in particular, the bits involving white parents' use of "time out" and references to the black stars of the COPS television show. Some jokes however, especially the drunken husband routine, drag on for what seemed to be an eternity -- even the "live" audience appears restless in some cutaway shots -- while other jokes are just stale regurgitations of many I've seen pass through my email inbox a multitude of times. Please Martin, we all know how similar babies are to old people.
In the film's last stanza, Lawrence revisits some of his recent personal failures, accepting fault for his wrongdoings and trying to make things right with his fans by making light of his antics. It's a courageous move that wasn't really necessary. Throughout the film, Lawrence emphasizes, "No one is immune to the trials and tribulations of life." While it's a nice message to back up what he has recently learned, it's out of place with the majority of a film that cuts down many elements of society. I guess no one is immune to Lawrence's criticism.
While Runteldat did surprise me with its intermittent moments of hilarity, there isn't enough consistency to the monologues to hold your interest throughout the entire film. It was filmed during a live event at Constitution Hall in Washington D.C., but the theatrical version needs more edits to cut out the material that slows its pacing. A tighter product at 75 minutes may have allowed for a more continuous stream of laughter, but Lawrence's refusal to accept criticism may have ultimately kept the film in its present disjointed form. His contempt for people like myself comes off looking more like an excuse for shoddy work.