Which Way Is Up?

"Weak"

Which Way Is Up? Review


Decades before Eddie Murphy made his career comeback by playing a handful of different characters in The Nutty Professor, Richard Pryor showed how it was done in Which Way Is Up? And this isn't some kid-friendly piece of fluff like Murphy's recent productions. This is typical Pryor -- full of foul-mouthed trash talk that definitely had people cringing back in 1977 and still has them doing the same thing 25 years later.

Unfortunately, a pioneering performance idea and raunchy dialogue doesn't actually make the movie any good. The story follows a migrant farm worker named Leroy Jones (Pryor), who accidentally becomes selected for a management job and along his ride to the top he makes enemies of his former co-workers and friends, and finds his formerly sex-starved life filled with options. And wouldn't you know it, the only one which satisfies him is the local reverend's wife.

Much of this turns into raunch for the sake of raunch. As a sex comedy, it's just too mean to be funny. And Pryor's foul mouth feels forced, making sick jokes and invoking racial humor simply for the sake of shocking the audience. That might have been a new idea in 1977. Today's it simply tired.



Facts and Figures

Run time: 94 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 1st February 1979

Distributed by: Universal Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 20%
Fresh: 2 Rotten: 8

IMDB: 6.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: as Leroy Jones/Rufus Jones/Rev. Lenox Thoma, as Vanetta, as Annie Mae, as Mr. Mann, as Sister Sarah

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