Down to Earth

Rated 1.0 A stand-up comic (Chris Rock) is pulled prematurely from his body by an overzealous angel (Eugene Levy), and is supplied with the loan of the body of a recently-murdered billionaire. Sound familiar? It’s Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941) and Heaven Can Wait (1978), revamped to fit the little-goes-a-long-way talents of Chris Rock, and directed by brothers Chris Weitz and Paul Weitz with all the style and comic inspiration they brought to American Pie (i.e., none). Rock is more subdued than usual, even sympathetic at times, but the material is so far removed from what it originally was (the hero was first a boxer, then an NFL quarterback) that the stretch has made it shapeless. The film also leans too heavily on the young-black-man-in-an-old-white-body joke, which is a little thin to begin with.