Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Bucket List (2007) [PG-13] ***



Edward Cole (Jack Nicholson) is a billionaire CEO. He's made his fortune buying profitless hospitals and turning them into understaffed money-making machines. But now he has cancer, and he's forced to share a room - since his hospitals have no private rooms. His roommate is Carter Chambers (Morgan Freeman) an auto mechanic with lung cancer. Carter has had some disappointments in his life; he also has a wife of forty-five years from whom he has grown distant.

After their surgeries and chemotherapy, Carter remembers an assignment given by his old college philosophy professor, and he starts to create a bucket list - a list of things to do before he kicks the bucket. Edward loves the idea, and since he has the financial resources, and they both have only a few months to live, the two slip out of the hospital cancer ward. They embark on an epic adventure of skydiving, race car driving, African safaris, and pyramid climbing - during which Carter asks Edward the two questions deceased Egyptians must answer correctly in order to enter the afterlife - Have you experienced joy in your life? And have you brought joy into the lives of others?

At the Taj Mahal in Agra, India they debate the issue of cremation vs. burial vs. crypt. And when they get to Chomolungma (Mount Everest, Goddess Mother of the World) they find that the climbing season is over, and they won't be able to see the peak until the following spring, by which time they'll be gone. Carter thinks that perhaps this is a sign that it's time to go home to his wife and family, whom he misses. In the final analysis, since we are all mortal, Carter and Edward's experience is relevant to each one of us, although the film speaks most clearly to those of us closer to life's end than its beginning. If you enjoyed Jack Nicholson in Something's Gotta Give, and Morgan Freeman in Feast of Love, you might really enjoy The Bucket List

Labels: adventure, comedy, drama    
Internet Movie Database     
Metacritic 42/100     
Tomatometer (critics=40, viewers=81)     
Blu-ray

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