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Chris Rock is heaven, but 'Down to Earth' isn't


© St. Petersburg Times, published March 5, 2001

Movie: Down to Earth

Rating: PG-13

Summary: Lance Burton (Chris Rock) can't seem to find his place in the comedy world. A few lousy shows at the Apollo Theater have gotten his career off to a bad start. On the way to the local comedy club one night, Burton is hit by a truck, because the angel sent to Earth to call Lance to heaven jumps the gun a little bit and sends him to heaven prematurely. The head angel realizes that Burton is not supposed to "arrive" for another 43 years. They make a deal with Lance and allow him to inhabit a "temporary" body back on Earth until they fix their mistake and get him into a permanent one so he can continue his life as scheduled. Burton's temporary body belonged to a very wealthy man. He falls in love with a woman and must deal with the consequences of not being able to live in that body forever.

My view: Chris Rock is extremely funny. This comedian always makes me laugh, and I had some good hard laughs in this movie. That just wasn't enough, though. Down to Earth was okay, but that's it. I expected more from this movie; it lacked any real excitement. I definitely won't be renting it when it comes out on video!

Favorite part: Chris Rock's humor is a big plus in this movie, and I really enjoyed it. The scenes when he was doing stand-up comedy were the best, but there weren't enough of them.

Least favorite part: The ending, which I am not going to give away, was pretty boring and stupid. I thought it would conclude in a more exciting and dramatic fashion, but I was wrong.

Recommendations: This movie is probably set for middle school age and up, but unless it is a rainy day and you really have nothing better to do, don't bother with this one.

Grade: C

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Billy Norris, 13, is a seventh-grader at Seminole Middle School and is a former member of the Times X-Team.

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