Friday, October 11, 2019

Dolemite Is My Name Movie Review

Eddie Murphy stars in Dolemite Is My Name

Family Reunion

Rotten Tomatoes Plot: Stung by a string of showbiz failures, floundering comedian Rudy Ray Moore (Academy Award nominee Eddie Murphy) has an epiphany that turns him into a word-of-mouth sensation: step onstage as someone else. Borrowing from the street mythology of 1970s Los Angeles, Moore assumes the persona of Dolemite, a pimp with a cane and an arsenal of obscene fables. However, his ambitions exceed selling bootleg records deemed too racy for mainstream radio stations to play. Moore convinces a social justice-minded dramatist (Keegan-Michael Key) to write his alter ego a film, incorporating kung fu, car chases, and Lady Reed (Da'Vine Joy Randolph), an ex-backup singer who becomes his unexpected comedic foil. Despite clashing with his pretentious director, D'Urville Martin (Wesley Snipes), and countless production hurdles at their studio in the dilapidated Dunbar Hotel, Moore's Dolemite becomes a runaway box office smash and a defining movie of the Blaxploitation era. Directed by Craig Brewer.

Starring: Eddie Murphy, Keegan-Michael Key, Da'Vine Joy Randolph, Mike Epps, Tituss Burgess, Craig Robinson, Aleksandar Filimonović and Wesley Snipes

What's Good: Snipes says it best, "I don't know if it was tender or sexy, but it was funny as fuck." Murphy will likely get the lion's share of credit, but trust me, he's not alone. Snipes is absolutely hysterical from the first moment he hits the screen, to his last. Ditto for Burgess, Key and an out-of-nowhere cameo by John Michael Herndon that had me doubled over in laughter. So many terrific little moments, and one of the sweeter low-key performances of the year (Ms. Randolph.)

What's Not: It starts off slow. Painfully slow. But once Key and Snipes show up, it's literally off to the races. P.S. Eerily similar to 2017's The Disaster Artist, only funnier.

Budget: N/A

Runtime: 118 minutes

Target Audience: Fans of Eddie, of course. People in need of a good laugh (or two dozen.)

Bottom Line: This is a great movie with plenty of soul and almost nonstop laughter (once it gets going.) Murphy and Snipes steal the show, but there's seemingly no end to the good tidings. Here's to lots of "fucking up mother fuckers" in the near future (for all those concerned.)

GradeB (Could be higher, but it takes forever to get started.)