The Bucket List

Year: 2008
Production Co: Storyline Entertainment
Studio: Warner Bros
Director: Rob Reiner
Producer: Rob Reiner
Writer: Justin Zackham
Cast: Jack Nicholson, Morgan Freeman
There was a lot of criticism of this movie, most of which I think was unfounded. Because acting dignitaries like Nicholson and Freeman headlined it, I think people expected acting on a superhuman scale the likes of which we hadn't seen before.

And Reiner is a great director, but he's very Hollywood, comfortable with closing small loops in the story and adhering to a dramatic rhythm we're very familiar to. And yes, there is a voiceover from Freeman's oft-used, authoritative but tender tones.

It deals with two men dying of cancer who are thrust together by circumstance and decide to make a list of outlandish ambitions to fulfil before they die. It could have been the premise for any stupid teenage Odd Couple clone, but the dramatic thrust is because Carter (Freeman) is a working class mechanic and Edward (Nicholson) a ruthless industrialist who never thought he'd find himself in one of his own hospitals.

Against their better judgement (and to no surprise on the part of the audience), the two men connect and make friends, going off on a pyramid-climbing, sky-diving, luxury-enjoying holiday.

The dramatic meat of the movie comes in Edward's angry outburst when Carter has taken him to the house of his estranged daughter he thinks Edward should face, when the wounds both men carry are rubbed raw.

It ends up a bit sappy and weepy, but it's all real and very heartfelt and in places very funny, the two leads making mincemeat of the roles.

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