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Kingdom Come

Family tensions erupt when the Slocum clan comes together for the funeral of Woodrow ''Bud'' Slocum.


When Raynelle Slocum's husband dies of a stroke, family members come together in the small town of Lulu for his funeral. To some family members, however, Woodrow ''Bud'' Slocum was not an agreeable man. They even consider engraving the words ''Mean and Surly'' on his tombstone. Their differences eventually bring them to blows and they argue, condescend, wrestle and pull guns on one another. Peppered throughout the insanity are some touching story lines that unfortunately get lost in the mess. The coming together of this dysfunctional clan is suppose to be the funny part of the film, only it misses by a long shot. Instead of a laugh-a-minute, knee-slapping comedy, Kingdom Come is 94 minutes of constant bickering between lowbrow kinfolk.


You would definitely expect more from such an impressive group of actors. Whoopi

Goldberg, who plays the part of widow Raynelle Slocum, spends most of the film

in a passive state of disbelief, the result either of her children shouting obscenities

at one another or of the fact that she took this part in the first place. LL Cool

J, who plays her son Raybud Slocum, gives the film's most redeeming performance.

Working from a weak script pervaded with racial stereotypes, he still manages

to convey both sincerity and depth as a hard-working reformed alcoholic. Vivica

A Fox plays his wife Lucille Slocum, who spends the entire film in a constant

state of oblivious complacency, apart from a scene in which she discovers her

miscarried baby in a bucket of fried chicken. She spends the rest of the time

serving up corn dogs with a smile on her face as everything falls apart around

her. Jada Pinkett Smith gives an equally unimpressive showing as the sister-in-law

with an inconsistently acted attitude.


Directed by Doug McHenry Kingdom Come is an adaptation of the play Dearly

Departed. The film, though visually authentic--from the setting of the small

town of Lulu to the hats and costumes the characters wore--fails miserably otherwise.

Marketed as a Nutty Professor-type comedy, Kingdom Come wavers precariously

between comedy and drama, and the story and characters are inconsistently developed,

if at all. Pinkett Smith's character for example, is supposed to be a tough, independent

woman, but she all too easily forgives her husband when she learns of his extramarital

tryst and again when he points a gun at her head and threatens to kill her. With

the exception of LL Cool J's character, the others were underdeveloped caricatures.

They irritate more than evoke sympathy.

Bottom line

Though this family-oriented comedy has some tender moments, it does not have much going for it apart from a great soundtrack.