I was very curious to see how Rock would do, writing and directing a dramatic piece, AND play himself, basically, letting the audience see the not-so-appealing side of the stand-up comic. It was a considerable risk, and I think it shows guts, and he did a very good job.
I think his stand-up is brilliant, and in my opinion, he is the best. I haven't seen anybody mix blue comedy, weave in unmatched social commentary, and reveal so much of himself, and with such intensity.
I was disappointed in the roles he took when he started getting into feature films, but you take what you can get.
I was surprised that his acting was pretty bad, when a lot of stand-up guys can translate their timing etc, into pretty good film performances.
After watching this movie, I can see he needed something he could sink his teeth into, and get in the zone. like when he's on stage.
If he is able to keep doing films, I can see him developing into a good actor.
Adam Sandler has made a fortune /with his formula movies, that he also produces, playing the same, sweet, affable guy. He has the personality to pull that character off. Rock just doesn't have it to NOT put himself into a part. My sense is, if it can't feel real for him, he just sort of freezes, and becomes kind of robotic.
Sandler did a film a few years ago, "Funny People", produced and directed by Judd Apatow, and he also played a very UNlikeable stand up comic. It was a very good movie, and Sandler was awesome, but I've never checked out reviews to see how well his other fans responded to him in such a different light.
Probably would not have watched "Top Five" if it wasn't Rock's first foray. It was a good attempt, and I am such a fan, I was interested to see how he did, but I did think it needed quite a bit of work in tightening up the script, etc.