True, [Chris] Rock isn't much of an actor (of course, you could say the same about a lot of well-paid actors these days), but he's something even better - smart and daring. He's never been just funny; his humor is always injected with intelligence and outrage. That's what made his stand-up routines and monologues so memorable, and it's probably what attracted filmmakers to him in the first place.
In interviews, Rock has said he wants to create a franchise like Mike Myers's ''Austin Powers'' films. He's also written a political comedy, ''Head of State,'' in which he will star and make his directorial debut. Since his fingerprints were all over ''The Chris Rock Show,'' maybe Rock will be better served by more creative control. Let's hope so. Otherwise, Hollywood, left to its own devices, might forever consign him to smart-mouth Negro roles, requiring nothing more than tepid Eddie Griffin-doing-Chris Tucker-doing-Martin Lawrence-doing-Eddie Murphy shtick.