Review: First Sunday is Actually Pretty Good

Words I never thought I'd write: First Sunday is actually pretty good. I'll follow up with the notion that if you head into this with an idea of what it is -- essentially, Ice Cube and Tracy Morgan riffing -- then I don't see how you could go wrong. No, the plot doesn't make much sense, and it's not like it will win any awards, but that doesn't make it less than it is: a relatively funny comedy in a movie environment without much else to offer.

The story of First Sunday is about two fellas (Ice Cube and Tracy Morgan) who are down on their luck. They both need quick cash and are short on means to do it. A plan is hatched to rob their local church once they see the money pouring into the collection plates. Guns are wielded; crackpot schemes are hatched; one-liners are fired off. The plot is not really a reason to see this. It's not going to stretch you intellectually or anything, but then again it's not idiotic along the lines of Norbit or Scary Movie. In other words; it's fine. It never devolves into crassness, which I really appreciated. First Sunday does exactly what's required - it gets out of the way and lets Morgan do his thing.

Yep, the credit for the success of this movie resides with Morgan. I think somewhere within Tracy's oddball humor lies the secret to the end of the strike. You see, Morgan is the perfect weapon. Set up a camera and he'll be funny. He doesn't need a script, he doesn't need a partner, and he doesn't need a story. He's just funny. He's probably funny rolling out of bed. The writers should pray there aren't any more guys like Morgan out there. I have no idea how Saturday Night Live took such little advantage of him while he was there, but kudos to 30 Rock for utilizing him in a more effective manner.

Ice Cube isn't asked to do as much here as he does in Friday or Barbershop. He called upon to play it straight and he does that pretty well. Against Morgan he doesn't have a prayer of shining, but that's okay. He's still got rap residuals to fall back on. He'll be fine.

So then, if you're reading this review and you were already predisposed to see this one, then I don't see why you'd be unhappy with your choice. If you're not into this style of movie, if you like your comedies British or Woody Allen neurotic... well, then I don't even know how you got this far. You have to factor in your baggage and expectations when deciding whether to pop for tickets to a movie, and First Sunday is no exception. The movie is legitimately funny. The only question is your sensibilities.

Grade: B