Head of State Movie Review
Chris Rock stars in Head of State, a comedy that is supposed to look at what would happen should a black man seriously run for President of the United States of America. What it actually accomplishes is something far less spectacular, but still manages to pull off enough laughs here and there to be somewhat entertaining.
After the Democratic Presidential candidate is killed in a plane wreck, the Party knows they have no chance of winning. So, they elect a black man with basically no political experience to run. Surprisingly, his honesty begins to build popularity, but of course there are some traditional obstacles holding him back.
Rock is a fairly funny guy, who seems pretty smart and likes to tackle modern issues (which can be said about most comedians, but since Rock is the star of this movie, we'll just talk about him). That being said, it is only fitting that Rock take on issues surrounding what would hold back a black man running for President. Would whites accept it? Would a guy out of nowhere have the experience to run the country? Would he be assassinated?
Unfortunately, Head of State is much like Rock's 2001 venture, Down to Earth, where he plays a black man trapped inside an old and rich white man's body. That movie had its moments but didn't delve deep enough into the obvious and easy issues surrounding what it would be like for a black man to be in a white man's shows. Presidential politics basically is the same scenario, but Rock still fails to do much with it. There are one or two jokes about a black President being assassinated, only a little bit of racism, and many other things that differ between races (or at least between top political people and a streetwise black guy). Instead, the movie resorts to a cheesy scene where a bunch of senior-aged white people dance to "It's Getting Hot in Here."
Head of State is funny at times, though, and Rock makes a few good jabs at President Bush. Overall, it's entertaining enough, but is inconsistent.
Head of State has its moments, but there is so much potential here that could have so easily been tapped that it is almost impossible not to feel disappointed.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.