Picks and Pans Review: Kingdom Come
When a minister (Cedric the Entertainer) visits Raynelle Slocumb (Goldberg) to gather material for her late husband's eulogy, he asks her to name a couple of his distinguishing personality traits. "Mean and surly," Raynelle snaps.
Death be not proud, or even very dignified, in Kingdom Come, a broadly played and only fitfully amusing comedy. From the moment Woodrow "Bud" Slocumb keels over in his kitchen after suffering a fatal stroke at the start of the movie, his family exhibits outrageously bad behavior. No one has anything nice to say about the dead man or, for that matter, one another. As the family gathers for the funeral, husbands quarrel with wives, brother battles brother, and mother and son go at each other. The movie is gooey-soft at heart, though, so by the end differences are resolved and all face a brighter tomorrow.
The fun of Kingdom, as adapted by writers David Dean Bottrell and Jessie Jones from their own 1991 play and directed by Doug McHenry (Jason's Lyric), is in watching its actors gamely stretch. Cast against type, Cool J is a melancholy mechanic, Smith a shrewish wife and Devine a Holy Roller. (PG-13)
Bottom Line: Here lies a so-so comedy