David Richard's review of Down to Earth
Now I haven't seen either of the two latter films, but I am positive they are better than this one. In fact, "Down to Earth" is so awful that if a production studio made "Rocky" movies every year until the next millennium, every one of those would be more entertaining to sit through.
I have given this film a C minus, which I give only because of two hilarious scenes dealing with Chris Rock as a white man singing rap songs. If it weren't for those two moments, this film would fail miserably.
Rock barely carries this film as comedian Lance Barton, whose lifetime achievement goal is to not get booed off the stage during amateur night at the famous Apollo Theatre (there's a winner of an ambition). Before Barton is able to reach his dream, he suddenly dies when he rides his bike in front of a bus. It's only too bad this whole film couldn't have died that way.
As the film moves along, Barton reaches heaven, only to realize they pulled him from Earth too soon. He wasn't scheduled to die for another 43 years. Due to the mishap, Barton strikes a deal with head angel Mr. King, played by Chazz Palminteri, to go back to Earth in a different body. Barton comes back as an older wealthy white man named Charles Wellington.
As Wellington, Barton only has two ambitions: to get back on the stage of the Apollo and to win the love of a woman named Sontee, played by Regina King. Originally, Barton struck a deal with Mr. King which brought him back as Mr. Wellington only temporarily until Mr. King could locate a more suitable body. However, once Barton realizes he could gain the love of Sontee as Wellington and at the same time make people laugh, he chooses to continue on as the older mogul.
I really don't see any reason why this film should have ever been made. There are only two funny parts in the whole production and the story line is flat the entire way.
Rock does hold his own at times as the film's lead, but with so many other negative aspects in the picture, it's hardly worth paying any amount of money to sit through.