79 Min | Documentary – Comedy | November 2008
IMDB Rating: 7.8
Director: Marty Callner
Starring: Chris Rock
Chris Rock: Kill the Messenger Review: Chris Rock stand-up at its best here. Anyone who wants to pursue a career in comedy or thinks they are a comedian needs to watch Chris Rock Kill the Messenger to see how to work a crowd and how to tell a joke. There were some of his jokes that were very poignant and not meant to receive raucous laughter yet his voice and the way he tells them make you laugh. The parts about the “n word” and “f word” rants were hilarious. And he is absolutely correct regarding the usage of both. If it’s in a song, it’s okay. If a person is acting bizarrely and you need to call them one, it’s okay. It’s the context, like Rock says. This was just classic stand-up here.
Once again, Chris Rock doesn’t disappoint in Chris Rock Kill the Messenger. His hard-edged comedy hits the mark. This show has just enough truth, at least from a male point of view, to make it relevant and just enough raunch to make it fun. As for the editing style of interweaving elements from various shows, it tends detracts from the comedy. It’s a gimmick — a gimmick the show doesn’t need. When the switch from one show to the other takes place, sometimes in mid sentence. Plus, it tends to ruin one of the basic illusions of stand-up comedy. The editing style shows that various different shows were basically the same word for word. It destroys that illusion.
Rock performs in three different locations during his tour, London, New York and Johannesburg and the producers saw fit to emphasise this with horrible editing that hammers it home by constantly switching the footage between the three locations. (Note to producers – you told us at the start of the DVD that it was the most successful comedy tour in the history of the world, we are capable of remembering this fact for ourselves without the constant reminders. In actual fact, I didn’t care how successful the tour was, just wanted to watch a Chris Rock stand up comedy DVD and have a laugh). The jokes in Chris Rock Kill the Messenger are not up to his own high standards set by the other specials and think Chris Rock is starting the believe the hype and get big headed, hence less work on the material.