Down to Earth

MPAA Rated – PG-13
It’s 1:27 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

Down to Earth
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Chris Rock, Regina King
MPAA Rated: PG-13
Released By: Paramount Pictures
Release Date: 2001
Kiddie Movie: Not too young.
Date Movie: Nah.
Gratuitous Sex: Some talk.
Gratuitous Violence: Not really on screen.
Action: Nah.
Laughs: Only when the old white dude is on the screen.
Memorable Scene: When the old, white dude is on screen.
Memorable Quote: Chris Rock’s jokes.
Directed By: Chris and Paul Weitz

You know what disappointed me the most about “Down To Earth?” Of course you don’t, but I’m gonna tell you. It is simply that the movie had so much potential and didn’t use any of it.

The story is one that has been done before, your classic “dude’s soul has been taken before its time so he comes back to earth in another dude’s body.” It’s just that I think it was done wrong.

This time we get Lance (Chris Rock). He’s a struggling comic whose only goal is to get one of the last amateur slots at The Apollo before it closes. Then he gets whacked by a truck, only it isn’t his time. In heaven the error is discovered and Lance is given the option to go back to Earth in another man’s body. What body does he chose? Well, that of an older white dude, Mr. Wellington, only so that he can get closer to the girl of his dreams. Mr. Wellington is basically a rich, pompous asshole, so his co-workers and staff are a little perplexed by the change that has come over him, but they don’t really care too much as long as they are still getting a piece of his money pie. The premise sounds funny – a dude from the hood in the body of an older white dude making the older white dude act like a dude from the hood. The only problem is that for most of the movie we see Chris Rock on the screen instead of the old white dude that the characters see, and that just isn’t funny. Why do I say this isn’t funny? Because, well, most of the only scenes people laughed at were when they showed the old dude acting like Lance.

Some people will say the premise of the older white dude hitting on the younger black dudette is stupid; some people will say Chris needs to go back to doing stand-up; but I say the only problem with “Down To Earth” was that they needed to have an older white dude playing the black dude in a white dude’s body. We needed to see more of the older white dude and less of Chris Rock.

I like Chris Rock, think he is hilarious, and the writing for “Down To Earth” could have been funny, but this wasn’t the movie for Chris Rock to be the leading man. Had the story been the other way around, say an older white dude being put into the body of a young black man, making Chris Rock’s role playing himself but possessed by an older white dude, well, that would have been the leading role for him in a role-reversal film. I want to give “Down To Earth” a better rating, but sadly it’s only 1 ½ stars out of 5.

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!