The Bucket List (12A)
Friday 15 February 2008
Uh-oh. This comes with a tag-line to chill the marrow: "Find the Joy". Well, I searched for a while. Rob Reiner's old-geezer comedy may have solid-gold names over the title, but the script is base metal that admits of no comic alchemy. Morgan Freeman is a car mechanic who sacrificed loftier ambitions 40 years ago for the sake of his family; Jack Nicholson is a self-satisfied plutocrat with four marriages and one estranged daughter behind him.
The two find themselves in neighbouring hospital beds, both with terminal cancer, but Freeman idly draws up a list of things he'd like to do before kicking the bucket. Nicholson, reading the list, says: "Not to be judgemental, but this is extremely weak" (the one line I laughed at), and devises a package of expensive thrills for them to wallow in while they're still able – sky-diving, motor-racing, sightseeing in India, Egypt, Africa, and so on.
Watch 'The Bucket List' trailer
Freeman, who doubles as worldly-wise narrator, happens to be a general knowledge nerd, droning on about everything from US Presidents to coffee and caviar – a bore to Nicholson's boor. Neither stretches himself, and given the feebleness of its family-values hokum, you wouldn't want them to. Nicholson has done a much better portrait of disgruntled old age in About Schmidt, and Reiner, lest we forget, made This Is Spinal Tap. This is about as funny as a barium meal.
musicReview: Culture Club performs live for first time in 12 years
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Revolutionary lost Caravaggio painting 'Mary Magdalen in Ecstasy' identified
- 2 McKamey Manor: This 'extreme' haunted house is the stuff of nightmares
- 3 Russell Brand says he will 'probably' give up acting to focus on his revolution
- 4 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 5 David Beckham's Haig Club whisky is exactly what’s wrong with the Highlands
This is what a film sex scene actually looks like on set (mostly awkward)
Revolutionary lost Caravaggio painting 'Mary Magdalen in Ecstasy' identified
After Sam Smith’s Mobo success, is the help of a pushy parent the surest route to stardom?
Pottermore: JK Rowling writes new Harry Potter story featuring 'greying' 33-year-old wizard
JK Rowling to publish new Harry Potter story online for Halloween
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Tony Blair 'says Ed Miliband will lose 2015 general election'
Putin: The US is to blame for almost all the world's major conflicts