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‘Head of State’ is a doomed campaign

Stephen Saito is a graduate of Burbank High School and attends the

University of Texas at Austin as a junior.

Chris Rock may be one of the most intuitive comedians around, but

a filmmaker he isn’t. In “Head of State,” Rock’s first foray behind

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the camera (in addition to acting, producing and co-writing the

film), he is downright inept at trying to piece together a coherent

story of a black presidential candidate selected by the Democratic

party as a sure-fire way to lose the 2004 election, which is already

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considered a lost cause.

With no primary elections or any real issues in sight -- a

campaign that surely wouldn’t pass muster with my former Burbank High

School U.S. History teachers Mr. Thomson and Mr. Wasserman -- Rock

embarks on a haphazard run for the presidency that seems as ill-fated

as the film ultimately ends up being.

Working from a stale, defanged script of his and Ali LeRoi’s

creation, Rock has yet to find the energy and sharp wit on screen

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that epitomizes his stand-up routine. Bernie Mac, who plays Rock’s

brother and running mate in the film, is the one bright spot,

injecting some much-needed crassness into the otherwise bland “Head

of State.”

“Head of State” is rated PG-13 for language, some sexuality and

drug references.

* If you would like to become a Reel Critic and see a movie on

the newspaper’s tab, call entertainment editor Joyce Rudolph at

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637-3241.


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