Add a Review

  • Once again, Chris Rock doesn't disappoint. His hard-edged comedy hits the mark. This show has just enough truth, at least from a male point of view, to make it relevant and just enough raunch to make it fun.

    As for the editing style of interweaving elements from various shows, it tends detracts from the comedy. It's a gimmick — a gimmick the show doesn't need. When the switch from one show to the other takes place, sometimes in mid sentence, I find myself wondering what just happened instead of listening to Chris. Plus, it tends to ruin one of the basic illusions of stand-up comedy. When I watch a stand-up comic, I know that the material is scripted, but I still like to get into the show and maintain the illusion that it is improv. The editing style shows that various different shows were basically the same word for word. It destroys that illusion.

    I recommend the show for the material, but be forewarned about the editing style. It can be a bit unsettling.
  • iblboxing2 October 2008
    The editor of this special was so consumed with splicing footage and seamlessly meshing shows that he or she, in my opinion, got in the way of the act.

    Chris Rock deserves a special focused on Chris Rock the way George Carlin's specials focused only on George Carlin.

    This special had too much going on. The editing tangled feet with the punchlines. The outfit changes were jarring, as I found myself missing the jokes because I was too busy saying, "Now he's wearing a shiny jacket," or, "Now he's in Brooklyn." Not to mention the sound quality was noticeably different, especially when jokes were spliced together.

    It was all just so unnecessary.

    I would like to see Kill The Message from one stage, with one audience. But don't take my word for it. Watch it yourself.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I have enjoyed all of Chris Rocks' specials having watched them all several times both on TV and DVD but this one is just plain annoying.

    Rock performs in three different locations during his tour, London, New York and Johannesburg and the producers saw fit to emphasise this with horrible editing that hammers it home by constantly switching the footage between the three locations. (Note to producers - you told us at the start of the DVD that it was the most successful comedy tour in the history of the world, we are capable of remembering this fact for ourselves without the constant reminders. In actual fact, I didn't care how successful the tour was, I just wanted to watch a Chris Rock stand up comedy DVD and have a laugh).

    If you haven't watched this yet I want to warn you that it is very, very distracting. Rock is wearing a different outfit at each location and the sound quality varies so you are halfway through a joke and the footage switches and becomes quieter and I ended up thinking more about how much the outfit and sound changes were irritating me than whether I found the jokes funny.

    The jokes themselves are not up to his own high standards set by the other specials and I think Chris Rock is starting the believe the hype and get big headed, hence less work on the material.

    The crowds at the three locations (remember that there were three locations in case you had forgotten since I last mentioned it) all seemed to be rolling in the aisles but I believe that they had all been drinking at the bar prior to the show and were just happy to be watching Chris Rock live rather than paying attention to what he was actually saying, which wasn't much.

    I give this show 3 out of 10 because I just didn't laugh much. I love stand up comedy and have many DVDs by a variety of different comedians and am easy to entertain but this just made me go 'meh'.

    Unfortunately, I am unlikely to watch this again.

    Chris Rock, please don't get involved with the hype and how much everyone 'loves' you. I know you've made your money and that you probably care less than when you started out on your career as you are now rich but if this will be the standard of your output for the future then please call it a day.
  • At first I thought the poster was like a chart of where Chris Rock had been performing, two of the three places for the first time (London, New York, South Africa... HBO). As it turns out, this is actually the method to the shoot of the show: edited together from three concerts in each of the areas listed, Rock goes through his material and sometimes a bit is inter-cut within an actual sentence (for example, Rock says the point of view from London, then New York, and maybe South Africa here and there). This technique is a little jarring, but only for a short while. Once it becomes part of the actual gig filmed, it's a successfully unique presentation by way of a special that tries something different.

    But the real reason to check out Kill the Messenger is because after four HBO specials (there may have been one half hour one I can't recall from the early 90s), Rock hasn't lost it in his timing or killer deconstructive language or point of view that remains barbed and ready to attack just about anyone: white or black, republican or democrat, male and female, job or career, everything is up for grabs and everything he presents is sharp and hysterically funny. And unlike Never Scared, his previous special, his bits on racism here aren't possibly watered down or not quite as sharp; if anything there is a particular bit on the "N" word that is an excellent dozen-years-later companion piece to "Black People Vs N*****", with a once-in-a-lifetime chance to hear when a white person can actually say it! It's loaded with insight and wit, from John McCain to Flava Flav to when to use properly contexted words, to just what goes on in a relationship and how difficult it pretty much always is. Bottom line, don't miss it, if you're a fan you're in for a welcome treat, and newbies will get knocked out.
  • harlemworldeva28 September 2008
    Chris Rock stand-up at its best here. Anyone who wants to pursue a career in comedy or thinks they are a comedian needs to watch this to see how to work a crowd and how to tell a joke. There were some of his jokes that were very poignant and not meant to receive raucous laughter yet his voice and the way he tells them make you laugh.

    The parts about the "n word" and "f word" rants were hilarious. And he is absolutely correct regarding the usage of both. If it's in a song, it's okay. If a person is acting bizarrely and you need to call them one, it's okay. It's the context, like Rock says.

    This was just classic stand-up here.
  • Chris Rock has always been my favorite comedian since the 1990s. But "Kill the messenger" ran dry to me. The splicing of shots from his shows in Johannesburg,London,and New York nearly gave me a headache. His comedy routine from the past mainly focused on race relations,relationships,and the difference between rich and poor people. Though most of this show he discuss the up and coming election which his views were funny and somewhat realistic. But the race thing got old and tiring to me. I was like okay Chris you made your point about n***ers time and time again before. I thought the gas price joke was a bit much and crude the way he says "he masturbates before filling up his tank", to relieve his frustration of spending too much money on gas. The relationship and marriage joke/segment were almost similar to his last stand up in "Never Scared" but more raunchier. This stand up special focused mainly on the election and politics and I found some of the stuff he discussed on the topic were hilarious. But after that I didn't find the rest of it all that amusing. Basically it seems like he's paraphrasing what he said in his other specials. Its not what he says that is funny but the expressions he makes after saying it keeps me laughing. That's what makes him so funny,but if he doesn't focus on creating new and refreshing material Chris may lose a good portion of his audience.
  • In 2008, Chris Rock went on a massive world tour, playing large venues around the world. This HBO special edits together three of these shows (in Johannesburg, New York and London) into one special. In it he covers subjects ranging from the 2008 Presidential race, the rise in the price of petrol, the Bush administration, what groups can say about other groups, the world of work and other subjects.

    Chris Rock is a bit of a mixed bag. At times he is very smart and very funny but at other times he sinks into crudity that seems content to draw laughter from swearing and being rude. I accept a bit of the latter if he delivers strongly on the former and I have found that his better shows have done this while his lesser ones have not. However I approach each show with an open mind because no doubt he is a talented stand-up who has a good stage presence. At the very start of Kill the Messenger though, the issue over his material will be secondary because you will be concentrating on (or rather distracted by) the editing together of the shows. I understand they were doing it to show how global it all was but at the start it is done rapidly, halfway through sentences and often repeating the same line three times – it is distracting and a bit annoying. Fortunately one gets used to it and it calms down a little as the show goes on.

    And good job too because what it lets you do is enjoy a show that is one of the better I have seen from Rock. To my tastes he gets the mix just right as he swears and is crude but does it all on a strong foundation of truth, challenge and observation. This is some great material here as he challenges his audiences one minute and then figuratively sits with them while railing against the man. It is a great structure that allows him to do both things without ever losing his audience – which is not as hard to do as it sounds when you consider some of his material here. He comes close with some of it (attacking black women is never a smart thing to do) but ultimately he keeps everyone on board by virtue of the smart material and just how funny the majority of it is. He himself has great stage presence but, as you can see here, it is hard to shoot. He is constantly on the move and the camera tries to keep up with him when he paces instead of settling for a wider shot, the effect is one of slight sickness and at times I preferred just to listen. This is not the whole show though as close ups, audience reactions and wide shots are also used but again it was another weakness built into the film in the editing room.

    Overall then what we have here is a show that is damaged slightly in the editing room but is ultimately kept engaging and strong by Chris Rock. His material is crude of course but it is built on strong observation and intelligent discourse, making it funny and clever enough to prevent it just being rude.
  • I began to notice that there were longer and longer gaps between the laughs. I've been a Chris Rock fan since his SNL days ... and he's always made me laugh, easily. But this one ... I dunno. Nasty and crude works fine for me, but to really make it work, there (probably) has to be (at least) SOME insight and wit or a few clever observations along the way maybe, that pulls all that 'nasty' together. Maybe it's just me ... but I wasn't getting it, this time around. Topics beaten to death with the same 'jokes' repeated and revisited, with little reason that I could see, except to fill time. Oh, the audience in the respective theaters seemed to be having a good time, but I can't say I was. I finally had had enough. Don't know how much was left, but I turned it off after less than an hour. Much more style than substance ... and the style just left me cold.
  • jotix10020 December 2008
    Warning: Spoilers
    As far as stand up comedy goes, Chris Rock is right there among the best of the entertainers practicing this form. This concert, recorded in three different locations has some excellent moments. Mr. Rock's delivery is always impeccable. He pokes fun at everyone. No one is spared his wit, or his irreverent approach to whatever he has in mind.

    In many ways Chris Rock reminds us of the late George Carlin, one of the best exponents of the genre. Like Carlin, this young comedian shows he has an amazing talent in poking fun of everything. He speaks his mind in ways that others wouldn't do, but he is never obnoxious. Mr. Rock is an original, being in films, or in a concert venue. He proves he is one of the best comic minds around.

    Directed at a non-stop pace by Marty Callner, the comedian delivers at such a quick pace, that he surprises his viewers with all the funny stuff he has for the audience. One could only imagine what it was probably like being in the audience at the Apollo theater, or the other venues. Mr. Rock has a boundless energy and a talent and speed to match his intelligent approach to comedy.
  • This is something new.

    I really like the experiments he did with the editing. Yes, it seems insane at first but as it progresses it becomes genius. Especially about the choices he made about which crowd/city to show for certain jokes: this is on another tip. I could watch this special on so many levels.

    Chris Rock is getting old as a man, i.e maybe less fun, but there is something much more cerebral to this comedy special. Something more about the art of comedy.

    I hope it goes down in history as an invigorating, new and groundbreaking presentation of comedy. You really get to see what it means to be a comedian and how you really connect to your crowd through jokes.

    Give this one a blast. Don't have high expectations. just kick back, pour yourself some coffee and you'll have a laugh.

    I promise u.
  • I would like my personal time back. I have very much enjoyed his first specials but this is just... sigh.

    The adventure begins somewhere in the world where he performed. In between 3 filming locations and constant editing and cutting in and out I feel dizzy. He wore 3 different costumes and by time his special was over I had bloodshot eyes not because I was tired but because there was 0 consideration for viewers when they filmed this thing.

    Jokes themselves. Well of course he is commenting on race, that was his "thing" in all specials. Except that this time I feel he ran out of content. His jokes got racial"er" and dry"er" than ever before. His reputation of progressive black person/men will probably be stripped because of his foul language. To me it almost looked like he was dropping f bombs not because they were relevant but because he had nothing else to say.

    I gave this a 4 out of 10 with reference of watching it today again just to make sure that this special was bad. This time I am going to watch this and try to understand any of his jokes for 2nd time. Last night while watching I do not recall myself even smirking once while I was dying laughing listening to his other comedy specials.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I think Chris Rock is hilarious in films like the Longest Yard but I honestly don't understand why people find this so funny, he'll say something that isn't funny for example when he talks about John McCain running for president he says "how many 72 year old people did you see today, doing s**t?" and people are in hysterics.

    This is probably because I'm English and I don't understand American stand up humour and what's so "funny" about it. Personally, British stand up comedians are much better and I'm not saying that because I am British but because they can make me laugh, even though there are the odd rubbish comedians.

    1/10 because it didn't make me laugh once, good actor, but in my opinion awful comedian.
  • Nothing new to see here. And like most liberal bullish, it also didn't age well. There's one bit in it where he talks about how there's no way in hell white people will let Obama become president; they'll change all the rules overnight.... well, how'd that anti-white racism turn out?
  • For his fifth special (fourth feature-length), Chris Rock does things a little differently. Instead of featuring a single performance in its entirety, Rock has pieced together near-identical performances from Johannesburg, New York and London into one special. The shows are edited together seamlessly with only his wardrobe as the giveaway. While this adds some variety to the performance and speaks to how universal his material is, it does take away a little from the illusion of spontaneity, however negligible that effect may be. Being that this was recorded in 2008, it doesn't take long for Rock to launch into his political material, featuring his thoughts on the forthcoming election, a subject he would return to. John McCain and George W. Bush are easy targets, but still pretty satisfying, and he has some fun with Barack Obama too. After some audacious views about mixed-race relationships, he throws doubt about Isaiah Washington's dismissal from Grey's Anatomy for using a slur for gay people starting with an "F" by saying its use dependent on context, even going so far as to say that it would be fair game in an argument. Curiously, he goes right into a bit questioning white people's use of the "N" word and claiming there would only be one very specific situation in which that would be acceptable. He does this without the slightest hint of irony, sadly. Later, after some astute observations about class disparity, Rock returns to the subject of relationships, his usual closer, but focuses more on bedroom politics than the criticism of women that's become a staple for him. Apart from a couple ill-advised or ignorant remarks, Rock's writing is as strong as its been since his first feature special. He manages to work in some meaty and insightful bits in between some memorable zingers, only made better with his magnetic personality. One imagines the experience would be better if some of his views were as progressive as his approach.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I had seen a few bits and pieces of his stand-up show Bring The Pain, in which he expressed his opinion of black people and the N word I can't say, so I knew vaguely what to expect from this show. Chris Rock toured the world with this stand-up gig, and this show has him doing the same material in probably the biggest gigs, playing in London, England (wearing a grey suit), New York, USA (wearing a black leather jacket) and Johannesburg, Africa (wearing black suit, white shirt and black tie). In the show(s) he expressed his opinions of the upcoming US presidential election - John McCain vs. Barack Obama, his opinions of the use of the N word (that I can't say, being white), contexts of insulting that are okay, and much more. Chris Rock was number 9 on 100 Greatest Stand-Ups. Good!