I should probably go on record as saying I like Ice Cube, as an actor... but I am sorry the films he's associated with tend to be such turkeys. I'm not pointing fingers at "Are We There Yet?" and "Are We Done Yet?", nor this latest, "First Sunday." Perhaps the days of "Barbershop" and "Friday" (sequels included to a lesser degree) are behind us... (sigh).
Durell (Ice Cub) has a handyman job, and gets his pal LeeJohn (Tracy Morgan) a job with him. Durell catches LeeJohn stealing a TV, they argue, get caught and fired. LeeJohn has an idea to deliver some wheel chairs across town for the Jamaicans. Durell agrees with they plan because he needs money so his ex Omunique wont take his son Durell Jr. to Atlanta; it goes poorly and they’re arrested, and sentenced to 5,000 hours of community service.
While doing their community service, LeeJohn and Durell see Tianna, follow her into church, and learn the church has been raising money. LeeJohn wants to rob the church to pay the Jamaicans and Durell can keep his son. Durell first refuses, until he learns Omunique is going to move sooner then expected. Durell and LeeJohn break into the church and get things moving along the plot outline.
Writer/director David E. Talbert bring us to the big screen in a way his bio doesn't seem to suggest he's had a lot of experience doing with major pictures. (Of his resume, almost all direct-to-video or TV stuff.) While the size of the screen is a minor detail, there are things you can get away with in a TV medium that don't always translate to the big screen (and vice versa).
Even on the small screen, though, "First Sunday" would have been less than an impressive way to spend the afternoon. Fortunately, that's why someone divine created matinees. Ice Cube and Tracy Morgan worked with what was given to them, and the walking laugh track of Katt Williams as Rickey (who has the strength of personality to make a reading of a will sound hysterical).
But Katt, Ice and Tracy alone won't be able to say enough prayers to save this one from the fiery doom of a quick exit from theatres. You won't face eternal damnation if you laugh a few times -- we all did -- but if you claim it as one of the early greats of the year, you may very well be nominated for sainthood.