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Life is a film that combines the comedic talents of Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence in a film that possesses elements of both comedy and drama. The story is set in the 1930s and begins in New York’s Harlem, but most of the action takes place in Mississippi. Murphy plays Ray Gibson, a fast talking con man who is always out to make the quick buck and looking to avoid pain at the hands of those he owes money. Lawrence plays Claude Banks, a strait-laced ambitious young man looking to make an honest dollar and marry his sweetheart.

These two cross paths at a Harlem nightspot and find their paths intertwined thanks to Ray lifting Claude’s wallet, leaving him unable to pay the bill. Ray and Claude are both taken to the local kingpin and given an option: either run a load of illegal liquor to Mississippi or a really deep swim.

After delivering the liquor, Ray and Claude witness the murder of an African American by a local sheriff and are framed for the murder and sent to a Mississippi work farm. This is where the fun really begins as they soon realize how much different Mississippi is from New York, especially in the 1930s and for a black man. However, it isn’t long before Ray decides that escape is the only course of action to take. Claude, however, decides to go the legal route, but it isn’t long before he realizes that escape may be his only option as well. This brings our duo to the conclusion that they should work together.

Amid several failed attempts, arguments that last for 20 years and all of the changes that have taken place over the 40 years of their incarceration, Ray and Claude develop a close and lasting friendship. The movie also stars Anthony Anderson and Bernie Mac.

| 1999 | 1 hr 48 min | 6.7/10 | 63/100
Eddie Murphy, Martin Lawrence, Obba Babatundé, Nick Cassavetes
Universal Pictures
Ted Demme

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90s Week: Life (1999) (Theatrical Trailer)|1:45

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