Carter Chambers (Morgan Freeman) is a mechanic who is told by the hospital that he has Cancer. Edward Cole (Jack Nicholson) is a billionaire that runs Hospitals “not Health Clubs” and after coughing up some blood goes for tests and also is told he has Cancer. They both end up in the same room as each other in one of Cole’s own hospitals. Once together there is some initial friction between the two but eventually, brought together by their illness they begin to get on and Carter starts writing a bucket list which is basically a list of things to do before you die. Of course Edward gets involved and as he is a billionaire he can make it happen; and so they leave the hospital to fulfil the things written on the list.
Despite there being lots of things “wrong” with this movie I have to say that on the whole I did enjoy it, although saying that I wouldn’t want it in my DVD collection. So what is wrong with it?
Firstly I doubt if cancer sufferers would warm to the premise. When reading other reviews on this film I was reliably informed that a cancer sufferers list would consist of keeping a meal down, or keeping your energy up amongst other things rather than sky diving, climbing the Himalayas and all the other wonderful things that they do. But in counter to this the story is about the list and it being crossed off by two guys that have a terminal illness so in truth, most terminal illnesses that they may have been given for the script would not have been realistic.
Secondly is the Morgan Freeman talk over, I have to say I am sick of this where he bestows his god like virtuous speech throughout the film, he does it a lot these days and I think that the method is wearing a little thin. Additionally to these things the special effects are a little naff, often you can tell that they are on a sound stage with little more than a green screen behind them and that does lower the production value of the movie for me too. So for me the best portions of the film are actually in the hospital when they are coming to terms with things and are pretty grumpy.
So those are the reasons why I would not really want the film in my collection, but I did say that I did enjoy the film overall and I would say that the main reason for this is the feel good factor from it, because despite the morbid subject matter it is ultimately a movie about trying to achieve your dreams and that it is never too late.
You have the two men, who are very entertaining characters, from widely different backgrounds brought together by a terminal illness and they get to live some of the dreams that they wish that they had done when they were healthy and I think that is something we can all relate too in some way. It is something that we would all like to do, I know I would happy have a “100 things to do before I die list”, I just need to find a rich person to come along with me to fund it.
Overall I would recommend a rental of the film, at around an hour and a half it goes fairly quickly and it is a pretty easy watch, just be wary of its faults.
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