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Head Of State Review

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Mays Gilliam (Rock) is an alderman in a poor inner city borough, who is called upon to run for President after the previous candidate dies. The party want to muzzle him, but Gilliam has other ideas, even calling on his brother to be his runing mate.

★★★★★

When the Hollywood machine casts a comedian as bitingly deft and incisive as Chris Rock as a standard-issue, motor-mouthed ghetto dawg, we can see it as a craven waste of talent. When he not only casts himself as a racial stereotype but also writes and directs the movie too, you have to wonder what the hell he's playing at.

In what is basically Mr. Homie Goes To Washington, Rock plays an inner-city alderman who's persuaded, for nefarious reasons, to run for President.

Naturally, he wows the voters by dressing like L.L. Cool J. circa 1983 and telling it like it is. That's not satire, that's a fairy tale, and a threadbare one at that - the kind of cozy liberal wet dream that, in stand-up mode, Rock would brutally savage in about 50 well-chosen words. And that's including all the rude ones.

Limp and toothless, simple and unadventurous, this is a major missed opportunity for Rock. Instead of tearing the system a new one, he's kissing it.