Martin Lawrence Live: Runteldat (2002)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Standup Comedy  |   Release Date - Aug 2, 2002 (USA)  |   Run Time - 103 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - R
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As both a term of defiance ("run tell that") and a concert movie, Runteldat is Martin Lawrence's righteous answer to the media and its quickness to slander fallen celebrities. Lawrence fell pretty hard in the late '90s, so this is supposed to be a come-clean comeback that shows he's just fine, thank you. Well, it's debatable. First off, this does not seem like a healthy man. Less than five minutes into the show, the comic is drenched in sweat, to an alarming degree that can't be explained by the wattage of the lights. Secondly, his largely unfunny subject matter is stunted somewhere in standup comedy's past, as if his coma lasted much longer than three days and started much earlier than 1999. But once he gets the chauvinistic and occasionally appalling bits about marriage and intercourse out of his system, Lawrence does find a true stride discussing what happened to him during the several years in which he spiraled downward very publicly. Like many beleaguered stars, he deflects a number of his problems onto a prying media. But he owns a surprising number of others, resulting in by far the most honest and engrossing portion of the film. It's just too bad that Lawrence makes viewers wade through 70 insipid minutes of vulgarities and moldy observations before offering a glimpse into what makes him human.