Chris Rock: Kill The Messenger
Three-time Emmy® Award-winner Chris Rock – comedian, actor, writer, producer, director, and one of Time Magazine's "100 Most Influential People in the World" – stars in his fifth solo HBO stand-up special! This all-new 90-minute (estimated) exclusive will feature footage of Rock from three different international performances – at South Africa's Carnival City Casino, New York's legendary Apollo Theatre, and the Carling Apollo Hammersmith in London – and will feature Rock's unique, adults-only take on dozens of social, political and celebrity issues.
Chris Rock in 3-D? Thats more or less what you get with Kill the Messenger. Recorded in 2008, the 79-minute show is actually a compilation of three different gigs (in London, New York, and Johannesburg, South Africa) deftly edited into a single performance, presumably drawing on the best takes from each. Its an effective technique, as it sustains visual interest (i.e., Rocks wardrobe changes) and reveals the comedians gift for making his act seem spontaneous when in fact its basically the same every night during a given tour. As for the content, its what youd expect from Rock: rude (f-bombs fall like acid rain, the "n word" flows freely, and the sexual references are extremely graphic), incisive, and hilarious. Some of the material has already passed its sell-by date; jokes about the 08 presidential election, while funny (John McCain is "so old, he used to own Sidney Poitier"), are obviously no longer current. Elsewhere, Rock riffs on the difference between "career" and "job," gay fans, ringtones, and even Gwen Stefani, but its his observations about race that are central to the performance--and they never lose their bite, especially when it comes to black-white relations (on black mens predilection for, uh, larger women: "A black manll drop-kick Keira Knightley to get to Rosie ODonnell"). On the whole, he seems optimistic, if somewhat bemused ("All my black friends have a bunch of white friends. All my white friends have one black friend"), even as he remains acutely aware of the persistence of racism and inequality. If youre easily offended, steer clear of Kill the Messenger. Otherwise, get ready to laugh. --Sam Graham