I had heard positive things about this concert movie and had hear that even those unimpressed with Lawrence’s films had to give him props. Although I have found his films to be puerile and unfunny more often than not I somehow find him personally to be pretty amusing in his delivery. So in a way I was quite looking forward to watching this movie online. Things didn’t look that good early on as the film opens with a look back over the recent media controversy surrounding Lawrence and is essentially him putting two fingers up at all those who have, in his eyes, unfairly criticised and picked on him. It is embarrassing to watch as he seems to be telling us that the attention given him (as a global celebrity) is somehow unjustified.
I hoped this would just be the build-up under the credits and that the show would be a solid piece of stand up for free download. Unfortunately he continues early on with him announcing he would tell his own story and so on but at least he soon got over it. But when his next topic was 9/11 I wished he had stayed where he was because in reality this section was nothing more than Lawrence racially attacking Muslims for all looking like Bin Laden and even a joke about how he had beaten up an Indian man behind stage just in case. He segues from this into the importance of beating your child (and indeed waiting for it outside the vagina so you can start kicking it then), material about sex after pregnancy (including a piece about “titties” that makes Benny Hill look like Oscar Wilde), bad drunks and the humour of domestic violence. Suffice to say that not of it is that funny and is about as basic as you can imagine.
By covering all this type of material Lawrence shows himself to be very much a base comedian in that his material appeals to an audience raised on sitcoms, swearing and who nod their heads and laugh uncontrollably at the most basic stereotypes and race clichés. His racist jibs are squarely aimed at every other culture apart from African-American, whereas with that group he seems to enjoy the failings of his culture. With people like Chris Rock and such you get it that they are critical of such things but with Lawrence he celebrates it. His material is predominately crude and tasteless, whether it is sexist, racist or just so broad that at times you sense he is close to losing some sections of the audience. Contrasting this with moments of trite insincerity just makes it even worse. There is no denying that he has good presence and runs the stage well but it is disappointing that he seems happy with such basic material.
Overall then a real disappointment of a show. The material is as basic as could be and rarely has any touch of invention or genuine wit across it. His audience mostly lap it up and I suppose those that have loved his recent films will love it however the majority of us should not be taking their enjoyment as a recommendation. Crude and basic stuff throughout and only worth a look for those die-hard fans of Martin’s brand of comedy.