Shouldn’t a film about the funeral for someone no one liked be a lot funnier?
“Kingdom Come” lobs amiably at such gallows humor, but focuses most of its energy on the ranklings of the tightly knit — but not terribly friendly — family left behind.
Raynelle Slocumb (Whoopi Goldberg) is the non-grieving widow. Her two sons, at each other’s throats constantly, are the successful RayBud (LL Cool J) and the starry-eyed Junior (Anthony Anderson). Raynelle’s evangelical Christian sister-in-law Marguerite (Loretta Devine) and her slacker son Royce (Darius McCrary) are on hand, too, as are RayBud and Junior’s wives (Vivica A. Fox and Jada Pinkett, respectively).
All of these (and more; the cast list is impressively large) converge on the tiny Southern town where Raynelle and Bud Slocumb lived for funeral and controversy. Junior had an affair, RayBud’s trying to quit drinking, Lucille wants to have a baby, and so on. The kitchen-sink melodramas are nothing new, though they, like most of the film, are depicted with earnest good humor.
Loretta Devine is sassy and delightful, as usual; her nagging Christian mom character is quite funny, and a good foil for the religious-but-lazy figures who surround her. There are some pleasantly funny moments throughout the film, adding up to an unspectacular, unmoving and unobtrusive movie — the kind of thing you like well enough, but would hardly go back and see again. Like a funeral, sort of, but with more adultery jokes.
C+ (; )