Head of State (2003)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Political Satire  |   Release Date - Mar 28, 2003 (USA)  |   Run Time - 95 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - PG13
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Review by Perry Seibert

As the director of Head of State, Chris Rock makes every mistake a rookie director could make. This includes believing that Chris Rock's screenplay for the film was ready to be shot, and casting Chris Rock -- the standup persona not the actor -- in the lead. The concept of a black man running for the presidency offers rich comic possibilities, but the film seems to believe that it needs to do nothing more than let Rock deliver what sounds like standup material not good enough to make Rock's act instead of plausible dialogue. What few jokes there were on the page die because Rock either fails to find the right tone for the delivery or edits the film so that the laugh line loses its impact. The rest of the time, the plan seems to have been simply to let Rock and the previously reliable Bernie Mac riff on each other or their surroundings. Sadly, nothing funny, let alone memorable, does happen. Chris Rock has talked about how much of an influence Eddie Murphy was on him, and with Head of State Rock has made his Harlem Nights.