Daily News header

The Bucket List Movie Review

By Prairie Miller

A combo terminal male bonding buddy road movie and a touch of perhaps Two Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, The Bucket List teams up those two old screen pros Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman for this Rob Reiner directed bittersweet comedy about quality-of-life issues while defying doctor's orders in the extreme. The second movie this year weirdly delivering personal reflections from the afterlife following P.S. I Love You, The Bucket List is at its best when these two moody seniors spar with the Grim Reaper and one another. But the story falls flat with jarring effect when later making that ill-advised occult detour into seemingly another movie.


Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman are Edward Cole and Carter Chambers respectively, two jaded elderly gents with absolutely nothing in common who meet in a hospital room they share while being treated for terminal cancers. Each bears a long festering resentment that, when faced with imminent death, feels for both like they haven't managed to live life to the fullest in the interim.

Though the over-the-hill surly sex machine billionaire Edward has never lacked for material possessions and quickie romance on demand throughout his party hardy life, genuine people relationships, especially with an absentee estranged daughter, have been sorely lacking. And Carter for his part, has suffered in silence for the long haul, as a frustrated woefully underachieving black man with a brilliant mind, forced to toil as a garage mechanic instead of his dream of being a professor, in order to support his children who came early in life, and subsequently bearing repressed resentments towards his wife through the years.

At the same. time, fed up with the routinely humiliating cancer treatments at the hospital that Edward also happens to own and that threaten his overblown sense of masculinity, he pesters Carter to run away with him for some globe-trotting final excellent adventures together in order to "go out with balls." That is, before they both kick the bucket referred to in the film's title, while trying their hand tackling that terminal to-do list as thoroughly as possible.

No Grumpy Old Men these two, Carter gets into tour guide mode as a specialist with a vast knowledge poured into detailed trivia covering just about anything there is to know, while Edward spreads his buoyant, though at times tacky joie de vivre as he picks up the tab for jaunts around the world from the Pyramids to the Taj Mahal. But these two party animal elders into deep denial about their fatal ailments, are brought back down to planet earth by occasional jolts of rude reality checks connected to their bouts of bad health.

Though steeped in the collective chemistry of these two charismatic stars whose cranky characters essentially save each others' lives before the curtain comes down, the problem with The Bucket List is that their messy and complex predicaments get resolved far too simply to reflect the world the rest of us get stuck living in. As opposed to that usual Hollywood spin version of reality for dummies up on the screen.

Warner Bros
Rated PG-13
2 1/2 stars

  Please leave a comment here     If it does not display within 10 seconds, please refresh the page

Related Movie Reviews News

Gugu Mbatha-Raw, the emerging star compares her Belle role to her new role in Beyond the Lights, where she plays Noni, a pop star who falls for her hunky, supportive bodyguard.
Directed by Pat O'Connor (Sweet November), the screen version is an intriguing romance drama which takes a sharp turn about midway through when Tommo and Charlie enlist in the army and ship off to serve their country in Flanders' fields.
Before the month of October ends, here are the must-see movies to give viewers thrills and chills on the Halloween weekends.
Kam Williams interviews Haley Joel Osment, who played Cole, in The Sixth Sense, as the boy with the iconic line, I see dead people. Now in Sex Ed.
Seemingly a satire in some ways, of Keaton's ambivalent transformation into Tim Burton's Batman a quarter of a century ago, Birdman appears to be Keaton's venture into unprecedented extreme acting.
For movie fanatics and couch potatoes, are you ready to relax and indulge in a stress-free weekend? Well, here are top 10 DVD releases for the week!

 

NewsBlaze Writers Of The Month



Popular Stories This Month

newsletter logo

NewsBlaze
Copyright © 2004-2014 NewsBlaze Pty. Ltd.
Use of this website is subject to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy  | DMCA Notice               Press Room   |    Visit NewsBlaze Mobile Site