Reviewed by: Hillari Hunter
|Featuring:||LL Cool J, Whoopi Goldberg, Jada Pinkett Smith, Loretta Devine, Vivica A. Fox|
|Producer:||John Morrissey, Edward Bates, Rob Lee, Karl Austen|
“Kingdom Come” focuses on a family reunion of sorts after the relatives of an unbeloved patriarch come together after he passes away. His long-suffering widow (Goldberg) doesn’t bother to hide the fact that her late husband was a grouch. Her oldest son, Ray Bud, and his wife struggle with his efforts to stay sober and her infertility. The younger son, Junior, has lost all of his money in a business venture, and the drama queen he’s married to never lets him forget the failure. The late patriarch’s sister is a deeply religious woman with one son in jail and another who’s partying his life away. And in the middle of their squabbles with each other, they have to plan a funeral.
“Kingdom Come” is filled with stock and stereotypical characters. The most glaring is the religious woman, portrayed as a Bible-spouting, critical person whom nobody likes being around, not even her own son. There are also plot holes; exactly why did the oldest son not get along with his late father? This is never explained. There is a decent family movie in there somewhere, but the plot is stale. Other than a scene that implies unmarried sex between a couple, a few curse words and depictions of drinking, this film could almost qualify for a “G” rating.
Anthony Andrews effectively portrays the frustrations of the youngest son who scrambles to save his marriage. Toni Braxton, who’s better known as a singer, is believable as a member of the family who married well. Ellen Clegghorn, a former cast member of TV’s “Saturday Night Live”, appears as a choir member. The end of the movie ties up like a mediocre TV sitcom, as if the screenwriter got tired and just wanted a fast ending. Pay attention to the uplifting soundtrack; it’s contemporary gospel, much of it done by Kirk Franklin.