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Life

Life

Ted Demme (1999)

104min
15 Certificate
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Review

Our Score
It's sad to see Eddie Murphy so completely unfunny in this cross between The Shawshank Redemption and The Odd Couple. Street-smart Murphy and bank clerk Martin Lawrence are framed by a Deep South sheriff for murder and sent to a Mississippi jail for life. Initially racist and brutal, the regime lightens up when warden Ned Beatty takes over and makes the pair his house servants. The necessary chemistry between chalk-and-cheese Murphy and Lawrence is absent, so their banter is simply unpleasant rather than hilarious, while the prison comes across as a holiday camp housing whimsical toughies. It's a situation that's strangely lacking in tension and, indeed, regimentation. And, like the film, it's certainly without humour.

Summary

Two men receive life sentences for a crime they did not commit. Once behind bars, their situation becomes even more dire when they discover petty differences can easily be magnified into reasons for all-out war. Comedy, starring Eddie Murphy, Martin Lawrence, Ned Beatty, Rick James, Bernie Mac, Bokeem Woodbine and Obba Babatunde.

Cast & Crew

Rayford Gibson Eddie Murphy
Claude Banks Martin Lawrence
Willie Long Obba Babatunde
Dexter Wilkins Ned Beatty
Jangle Leg Bernie Mac
Biscuit Miguel A Nunez Jr
Winston Hancock Clarence Williams III
Can't Get Right Bokeem Woodbine
Sgt Dillard Nick Cassavetes
Older Sheriff Pike R Lee Ermey
Stan Blocker Noah Emmerich
Cookie Anthony Anderson
Pokerface Barry "Shabaka" Henley
Daisy Sanaa Lathan
Director Ted Demme
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Other Information

Language: English Colour Theatrical distributor: U.I.P. (UK) Guidance: Violence and swearing. Available on: Available on video and DVD Released on: 27 Aug 1999

Comedy Drama

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