The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part
The Walking Dead
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All Critics (17)
| Top Critics (9)
| Fresh (15)
| Rotten (2)
The endless conveyor belt of talking heads does rather lose its lustre over time, and some actual standup would have been welcome, but there's a dizzying amount of insight ...
The film compiles their anecdotes and observations to create a kind of universal stand-up monomyth that flows seamlessly through chapters.
Subject after subject - joke-crafting, set-building, room-running, dying on stage, living on the road, etc. - gets treated with bloodless abstraction by people who tell funny, engaging stories about their experiences for a living. Weird.
Once the movie hits its true stride it's really fascinating.
Pared down, this overcrowded movie could be a teaching tool in a comedy school. But as one comic after another recalls triumphs, misadventures and painful lessons learned, the stories become redundant.
The movie kicks off poorly, with a battery of familiar conceits from big stars.
Dying Laughing cuts through the stage persona and finds the humanity behind the jokes.
Dying Laughing masterfully weaves in a humanity to the art of stand-up no film has ever approached in terms of clarity.
By juxtaposing the monochrome talking heads with colour snapshots of life on the road, the co-directors convey something of the agony and ecstasy of a potentially soul-destroying vocation.
Dying Laughing does a great job in highlighting the highs and the lows of the profession, but where the film doesn't get it 100% right is by offering very little background on each of their interviewees.
There's nothing radical about this comedy doc's talking-head format, but it's a sharply edited masterclass with a formidable roll call: Seinfeld, Silverman, Rock, Coogan, dozens more.
While many of the insights offered may not be revelatory, there are nevertheless moments of pathos and power in Dying Laughing, as well as some laughs -- though perhaps fewer than you might expect, given the comic talent on show.
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