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Chris Rock's "Top 5" Reviewed

Top 49

Top 49

A coupla year ago I saw Chris Rock perform his then current stand up act at the Theatre AT Madison Square Garden.Hysterical for the first half hour, funny for the next half hour and let me out for the final half hour. That’s Rock’s problem, he isn’t as good as he thinks he is but he thinks he is really good.

Written and directed by Rock, “Top 5” is very very similar to Woody Allen’s “Stardust Memories” only without the depth or the wild outbursts of imagination, without the spacemen’s and without the strength of its convictions, there is no “I won’t make funny movies and you can’t make me”. Chris doesn’t believe his own concept, and definitely without the easy mix of memory, fantasy and future shock. there is something about it just almost not quite good enough, like the title riff on best five rappers, or like the hellbent on happening pseudo romance or even the entire alcoholism subtext.

The problem “Top Five” isn’t the funny, which it tends to be from time to time, but the shallowness let’s it down. Sub plots on sub plots don’t snap into place. Andre Allen is getting married to a reality star (Gabrielle Union) essentially because she got him sober. days before the wedding his new, serious movie is opening and a report (the thoroughly wonderful Rosario Dawson) is following Andre around for the day for an exclusive story. Lots of flashbacks, one with rosario and her boyfriend being somewhat nauseating and another with Cedric The entertainer funny but could be funnier.

It is a mostly sweet, sometimes inspiring story with a great cameo by DMX. But it isn’t deep enough and its moral isn’t happening, plus it swizzes us out of the big ending. Rock’s best movie? well, tons better than “Grown Ups” and boatloads of cameos and terrific turns by the likes of Tracey Morgan, Kevin Hart, Adam Sandler and Jerry Seinfeld certainly doesn’t hurt.

Grade: B

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