First Sunday (2008)49K
First Sunday: Directed by David E. Talbert. With Ice Cube, Katt Williams, Tracy Morgan, Loretta Devine. 2 bungling, petty criminal BFFs try to rob a church, but someone from staff beat them to it. They spend the night with the church staff to get the money.
“Let me see: Itu0026#39;s January, and a film is released with a recognizable star and an obvious audience. Should be a winner? Nah! Not for nothing is this called the u0026quot;dead seasonu0026quot; or the u0026quot;dumping groundu0026quot; because almost all the films released at this time are potential losers, films deemed by their owners weak for a variety of reasons, but most certainly heading for panning by the critics.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eFirst Sunday, a heist film set in a church, fulfills all the requirements for this notorious time of year: The plot is thin and almost silly: a couple of slackers decide to rob a local church in order to pay debts or salvage a family, mixing guilt with almost innocence; Ice Cube stars against his type as a robber with at heart and he produces, an act that guarantees this weak film distribution.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eYet, I liked First Sunday well enough to keep it from my slag heap of grade F. I liked the sub-textual seriousness of kids without dads, dads dealing with unemployment and disrespect, and mundane church matters. In addition, Cube (Durell) has a solid persona, not varying much each film, of an intelligent, serious but secretly warmhearted guy, a working stiff who just hasnu0026#39;t had the right breaks.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eHis sidekick LeeJohn (Tracy Morgan) provides the feckless, goofy, but lovable klutz, whose heart is bigger than Durellu0026#39;s. Beyond reasonable humor is Katt Williamsu0026#39; Rickey, a choirmaster with loopy observations and mannerisms. The women in the congregation serve as enablers for the errant crooks, and in one case, as major eye candy. Most of the characters in the film are shameless stereotypes.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe responsibility for this sub par comedy rests with writer director David E. Talbert, whose more that a dozen successful plays with heavy social themes remind of the success Tyler Perry has had with a similar profile. But Talbert lacks Perryu0026#39;s refinement of style and substance that deftly mixes broad comedy with social concerns. Talbert may never reach the success of Perry, but he should keep trying because social comedy is a powerful part of our popular culture.”