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Overall Rating

Awesome: 14.93%
Worth A Look: 19.4%
Pretty Bad: 13.43%
Total Crap: 17.91%

6 reviews, 31 user ratings

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Life (1999)
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by Erik Childress

"Life Needed a Little More Life"
3 stars

Life (***) - Life is a very hard film to review. On one hand, youíve got the simple fact that I enjoyed myself while watching it and laughed quite frequently. On the other hand, youíve got to wonder how the filmmakers chose to cover over 60 years in only an hour and 40 minutes. There is a 2 minute montage in this film that literally covers 28 years - IN 2 MINUTES!!! Granted, there are a few nice touches that director Ted Demme brings to those 2 minutes, but it makes me wonder what this film would have been like when I heard that this was going to an epic film running around 2 Ĺ to 3 hours.

Itís obviously a lot of trims were made when almost half the preview is non-existent in the current print. I almost feel like they didnít trust us, the audience, to follow a comedy/drama through 60 years and nearly 3 hours. Did we learn nothing from The Shawshank Redemption? Regardless - that being said - I still go back to the simple fact that I laughed quite regularly during Life and I must say that Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence turn in truly remarkable performances - from the opening frames all the way through their aging. Theyíre terrific. I also really enjoyed a nightclub fantasy sequence that is both funny and touching. And granted, it might be easy to keep their spirits up in the prison thatís depicted in the movie. Other than some early hard labor and some adjusting to their fellow inmates, the prison almost seems like an enjoyable way to spend your life and thatís a mistake. Only a few moments are given for Murphy and Lawrence to regret the time theyíve spent in jail and those moments would have been more poignant if the film were longer. Life should at least give the audience a realization of a life sentence. I mean, seriously, the opening scenes (which move and work very well) before they even get sentenced lasts at least 20 minutes. Iíd be willing to bet that we donít even get a full hourís worth of Eddie and Martin in prison before theyíre plastered in the terrific old-age makeup (look for an Oscar nod next year). Ned Beatty pops up late in the film as an extremely sympathetic warden/governor. He was some state official. Heís so subdued in the film itís as if his experience in Deliverance had taken its toll and he decided to take up home in the south (you know - close to the inbreeders.)

Iím joking, I kid the South. Life could have been something special instead of just the pleasant entertainment that it merely is.

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originally posted: 02/16/00 09:05:48
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User Comments

6/21/17 Anne Selby maybe this was based on a true story??yet I loved it as a bit of farce 3 stars
9/27/12 wes Dude your never gonna get it. Its just not yout type of movie. Stick to walt Disney instead 5 stars
8/24/12 roscoe fair but did not mesh. plus, not that funny 3 stars
10/22/08 Shaun Wallner Thought this was a good film. 4 stars
8/26/05 ES Had its moments, a good watch if its on TV (at the beginning) on a lazy afternoon 3 stars
12/10/03 Samuel "FUNNY!" 3 stars
12/09/03 Baby Dee This movie was good. Not only hillarius but dramatic at times. IT IS GOOD! 3 stars
12/07/03 J Hilarious Eddy and Martin at there best! **** out 4 4 stars
6/22/03 Ghetto Smurf Hilaurious 5 stars
3/13/03 adny its the funniest movie ever 5 stars
11/01/02 Johnathan Mull I thought this movie was great! Watch it again and take your head out of your ass! 5 stars
10/16/02 Jennifer I saw the movie like 30 times 5 stars
9/18/02 Michelle I liked how they took a serious subject, and turned it into a comedy. Its a good movie 5 stars
7/29/02 Croweater Saved by Murphy too a large degree, as Martin Lawrence sucks as usual. 2 stars
1/11/02 Andrew Carden Beatty Is The Only Light In This Dark and Unfunny Movie. 2 stars
11/27/01 malcolm funny movie in a very unfunny situation. i would've liked to see more of Bernie Mac. 4 stars
9/05/01 Butterbean If it was advertised as a drama instead of a comedy, I wouldn't have been disappointed.. 3 stars
8/07/01 Joe Zappa Co-written by Matt Stone, starring Eddie Murphy & Martin Lawrence. 1 flaw: Martin Lawrence 4 stars
1/27/01 lesbi lover No one in this movie is hot. 4 stars
9/13/00 Boy In The Designer Bubble For once Mr. Lawrence wasn't an embarassment to the black community. 3 stars
4/28/00 fire-n-ice could have been eddie murphy in a while 4 stars
2/09/00 Jess Bennett This movie is beautiful. It has heart and his well acted. Some stuff is unrealistic. 5 stars
11/29/99 Crystal Fleming Ok entertainment 3 stars
6/29/99 Mark Reilly Best Eddie Murphy movie im a LONG time 4 stars
6/26/99 David 2 stars are great, film is a real yawner. Episodic nothingness. 2 stars
4/26/99 Daddy Rich One of the funniest movies I have seen. This is the Eddie Murphy we all love. 5 stars
4/26/99 jeff hounchell Two comedic superstars, BUT....the movie cudda have been MUCH funnier!!!!!! 3 stars
4/25/99 XenoWolf the humor is alright 3 stars
4/19/99 agustin more sad than funny 3 stars
1/06/99 The Dude Eddie Murphy is great-he has redeemed himself from Holy Man-its great 5 stars
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  16-Apr-1999 (R)



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