The unnecessary and unwanted remake of the great 2007 British Comedy Death at a Funeral is coming out in a matter of months and the first official trailer for the movie was recently released online.
Frank Oz directed the British version which starred Matthew Macfadyen (Pride & Prejudice, Frost/Nixon) as the main character. This remake, or re-enactment as I would call it, is brought to us by (and stars) Chris Rock.
In an age when moviegoers are drowning in remakes, reboots and re-imaginings of established properties and brands, this movie sadly only comes partially as a surprise - the project began less than a year after the UK version released. That being said, there are remakes, and then there are complete copies. Check out the trailer below.
This version of Death at a Funeral stars Chris Rock, Zoe Saldana, Danny Glover, James Marsden, Luke Wilson, Martin Lawrence, Peter Dinklage, Tracy Morgan and Ron Glass. It is directed by Neil LaBute (Lakeview Terrace, The Wickerman).
Watch the HD version at Yahoo.
I love James Marsden, I love Zoe Saldana and I dig Peter Dinklage and Danny Glover but I am very unimpressed by this. Other than Tracy Morgan being exactly as he is in 30 Rock and Martin Lawrence being unfunny, all of the scenes are practically shot-by-shot imitations of Oz's Brit version. I wish they allowed Marsden to do something different rather than try to pull off what Alan Tudyk did in the first movie.
They brought back Peter Dinklage to reprise the role of the same character from the original which makes me wonder if this is a completely standalone movie ripoff or if his character just happens to date older men about to die to pull off this scheme (not a spoiler - it's in this trailer), and this is some sort of sequel for his character (despite everything else playing out exactly the same around him).
Luckily for all of us, from what this trailer shows we don't need to see the movie since it presents to you the entire story of the film, including the major scenes and character revelations. Will there be some sort of twist or other plot development not taken from the 2007 version?
My recommendation: Go see the original Death at a Funeral, it was very well done and a contender for best comedy of its year.
What did you think of the trailer?
Death at a Funeral opens April 16, 2010 and I'll be watching Kick-Ass that day instead.