The Bucket List *

Director: Rob Reiner.
Screenplay: Justin Zackham.
Starring: Jack Nicholson, Morgan Freeman, Sean Hayes, Rob Morrow, Beverly Todd, Alfonso Freeman, Rowena King.

Jack and Morgan, now over the hill, attempt fetching a bucket of laughter. Jack fell down in a hospital gown and Morgan came tumbling after.

Pretty damn poor considering it unites two of cinema’s great actors in Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, under the direction of the normally reliable Rob Reiner – who is no stranger to fine comedies. However, Reiner seems to have forgotten something integral here…namely comedy itself.

Nicholson and Freeman play two terminally ill patients sharing a room in hospital. When faced with the news that they have months to live, they compose a “Bucket List”. A list consisting of all the things they’d like to do before they shuffle off their mortal coil. Working their way through their list, they achieve feats of sky-diving, racing fast cars, tackling the Himalayas etc.

You’d think watching these two veteran actors in several hair-raising scenarios would be a joy but quite frankly, it’s not. What it is, is dull and uneventful. Jack and Morgan are given next to nothing to work with and are let down by a very tedious and formulaic script. Reiner’s direction is also extremely flat, not helped by some very poor, sub-standard special effects and fake use of international locations. By today’s standards it’s very insulting and the talent involved, not to mention us, deserve more.

If I ever compose a Bucket list for myself, first thing on the list will be…’Don’t attempt to polish a turd. Despite what it says on the tin’. Avoid at all costs.

Mark Walker


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