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Overall Rating
2.72

Awesome: 31.91%
Worth A Look: 8.51%
Average: 2.13%
Pretty Bad: 14.89%
Total Crap42.55%

3 reviews, 29 user ratings


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Fighting Temptations, The
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by MP Bartley

"This isn't Bootylicious"
1 stars

Yawn. Cuba Gooding is Derrin Hill an advertising executive who has to take charge of his deceased aunt's choir group and take them to the final of a choir competition to pay for a new church roof. But remember that advertising = money, so therefore = bad, nasty person. But what happens in movie-land when bad, nasty person comes across a group of slightly wacky, feisty but undeniably wholesome smalltown people? Well you could probably write the script yourself.

Because just about every cliche under the sun is touched upon here. Will Derrin go back on his money-making ways and learn to love the little people and therefore himself? Well, duh, if you need that one answering. But even so, there's a great many cliched films that I've enjoyed simply because they've been done with a lot of heart and a lot of energy. 'The Fighting Temptations' has none however, and is just a cynical little dollar-maker trying to cash in on the musical, racial and religious aspect, the rising star of Beyonce and the few shreds of stardom that Cuba Gooding Jr has left.

Has there ever been an actor to waste himself quite as abysmally as Cuba has? Ever since the Oscar he's attatched himself to dog after dog of a project. If the members of the Academy ever had to inflict 'Snow Dogs', 'Boat Trip' and 'Pearl Harbor' on themselves I'm sure they'd demand a recount for the year he won the Oscar. Unfortunately Godding can't even be defended here as a star slumming it. You get the feeling that these films he's making aren't aberrations, they're as good as he gets, and it was 'Jerry Maguire' that was the mistake. He's woeful here, with as much subtlety as Martin Lawrence on speed and as much of a character arc as the third orc from the left in the battle of Helms Deep in 'The Two Towers'. He jumps and screeches across the screen practically crying "Look at me! I'm being funny! Look at meeeeeeee!". But here, he begins the film as an uncharming, deceitful prick and ends the film as an uncharming, deceitful prick.

And there's no other defence for other characters in 'The Fighting Temptations'. Up-tight vicar who really just wants to cut loose and jive? Check. Fesity single mother excommunicated from the Church but who is let back in because she has the best voice? Check. Other various wacky characters whose whole character development is...'wacky'? Double and triple check that one.

And Lynn's direction has no clue on how to make any of this charmless mess remotely funny or enjoyable. The editing is clumsy with characters moving from one location to another with no explanation (I'd expect better from a 1st year film student), the shot composition has no thought whatsoever and is completely random with characters milling about for no reason, ("Hey Jonathan, where do you want the actors to stand?" "Anywhere, as long as it's in front of the camera!"), there's some truly awful back-projection for scenes set in a moving vehicle (was this actually made in the 50's?), and the product placement couldn't have been more obvious if Beyonce turned around to have 'PEPSI IS GREAT!' painted across her chest.

Add to that pointless montage sequences, characters dropping in to join the choir with little or stupid backstories ("Hey let's get some convicts in there!"), and musical sequences that look like they've been filmed by an excited parent at their kids school concerts and you've got an unholy, awful steaming pile of celluloid shite. It strives for a 'Blues Brothers' wacky-anything-goes spirit, but it continually falls flat on its face and gets progressively worse.
Even the climax fails to get anything remotely resembling excitement or tension for it's oh so tedious and obvious finale.

This is a film appealing to the crudest and simplest of audiences. If you include yourself in that audience...get the hell out of here and take Cuba with you.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=8164&reviewer=293
originally posted: 04/07/04 23:57:23
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User Comments

5/15/08 PAUL SHORTT WOEFULLY MISCONCIEVED 1 stars
8/16/06 Eric Rountree Funny, and great music! 4 stars
11/01/05 damilola the film is chasis 5 stars
8/04/05 love stupid story, dialogs and Beyonce just can't act!!! 2 stars
7/21/05 Christa Thomas this film was great 5 stars
7/02/05 David Romero That is a supernice movie 5 stars
2/25/05 Dan I am White, it doesn't matter what race you are Roberta. I liked the movie too. 5 stars
12/03/04 Roberta wearwood I luv the fighting temptations maybe because i am black it is one of my favourite films. 5 stars
10/17/04 ELAINE GABRIEL SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE..ENJOYMENT IS IN THE BEHOLDER CRITIC SIR 5 stars
8/03/04 psychotic black dwarf Most clever part is the title. Erik C: do BBQ & Watermelon get to play w/ Barbie & Apple? 3 stars
5/23/04 bianca very good 5 stars
5/15/04 jennifer great,off-da-chain,keep up the good work 5 stars
5/07/04 wylene This was a very entertaining movie. The storyline was accurate about southern hospitality 4 stars
4/22/04 Herenessa Figthing Temptation was so the bom, i really loved it and gave it a 100/100 5 stars
4/07/04 Jenise Norvell excellent movie, enjoyed the music 5 stars
3/25/04 shirlene anderson this is my favorite movie. 5 stars
2/05/04 Shoshoni Brooks The movie was greater than great. I just loved it. 5 stars
1/21/04 Betty White Bottom-of-the-barrel "comedy"; Gooding looks constipated. 1 stars
10/28/03 Mari this movie seriously sucked not a cuba or beyonce fan at all 1 stars
10/24/03 mialaya beyonce needs to sit her "bonnie and clyde " self down cuz she is not a good actress at all 1 stars
10/17/03 anthony freeman i loved the movie it was so funny and the music was great 5 stars
10/08/03 Baby`j i thought the movie was good its better then most movie out now..and zane looked soo good.. 5 stars
10/05/03 reginamersier excellent actor cuba played his roll very well 4 stars
9/30/03 suicide is painless the only fighting temptation left was the razor blade to the jugular 1 stars
9/27/03 Terrance Rogers I just wanted 2 see it because Beyonce' and Mike epps but it was alright nonthin 2 die 4 4 stars
9/26/03 Deborah Reynolds Beyonce is worse than terrible...Cuba seemed embarrassed. Waste of time! Got my $$$ back! 1 stars
9/24/03 mertistine bass-simmons GREAT, FUNNY andwell worth the time and money spent . 5 stars
9/23/03 Angry Black Man Beyonce as a lounge singer! The horror, the horror!! 1 stars
9/22/03 The F-Bomb so gay, not even beyonce's ass could save it 1 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  19-Sep-2003 (PG-13)
  DVD: 03-Feb-2004

UK
  N/A

Australia
  04-Mar-2004




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