Rudy Ray Moore (Eddie Murphy) works at a record store and wants to make it big in the entertainment business. He creates a character called Dolemite, and starts making comedy appearances and albums. While success, he decides he wants to go bigger and make a feature length film about his character.
Director: Craig Brewer
Cast: Eddie Murphy, Keegan-Michael Key, Mike Epps, Craig Robinson, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Wesley Snipes
MPAA Rating: R for pervasive language, crude sexual content, and graphic nudity
Fun Fact: Eddie Murphy’s first rated R film since 1999.
We all know how awful Eddie Murphy’s career has been. In the last twenty years or so we have seen him perform in bomb after bomb with now light at the end of the tunnel in sight. Dreamgirls was a step in the right direction, but that was short lived as he continued on his streak of horrible movies.
Until Dolemite Is My Name came along. This is the comeback that Murphy needed. We get the Eddie Murphy that we knew back in the 80’s and early 90’s. Murphy steals the show as Rudy Ray Moore, who was a person back in the 1970’s that had lived the American dream. Moore wasn’t satisfied with what he was doing so he decided he wanted to make it big in show business through his comedy routine. With hard work and dedication Moore achieved what most people would only ever dream of. When everyone doubted him he kept working hard and in the end he succeeded. Murphy portrays Moore as a great man that made sure that everyone enjoyed the product that he was presenting and made sure everyone that was working on his movie got paid. He even treated his fans with respect which was awesome to see. With director Craig Brewer at the helm, we get a passionate project that’s a tribute to an inspiration to many people. The awards have just passed by and it’s a shame that Murphy didn’t get more recognition for more acting awards.
Other than Murphy’s performance we get solid performances from the entire cast. I’ve been a Craig Robinson fan from his The Office days, so it was nice to see him in this production. Da’Vine Joy Randolph was great as Lady Reed. She had a nice backstory to her as someone that was shy that overcame that as time went on. I would have to say my second favorite performance goes to Wesley Snipes as D’Urville Martin. Snipes’ comedic lines were hit perfectly and it was great to see him in a more laid back type film. He and Murphy had great chemistry together as actor and director and I definitely wanted to see more of it. Craig Brewer got great performances out of his cast and knew how to work with his actors well.
I’ll be the first to tell you that I’m very picky when it comes to comedy films. My whole life it never was my favorite genre. This film though had me laughing hard a few times. I mean that type were I was rewinding parts just to watch them again. I hadn’t had that type of experience with a comedy in a long time. The best scenes of the movie are when they’re filming the Dolemite movie. Just seeing all of the antics going into the filming of the movie make it great. Once again Murphy was on top of his comedic game during those scenes and it was like seeing the old Eddie Murphy again.
Another thing that I highly enjoyed was some of the musical numbers in the film. There short and there isn’t many, but they were directed and performed well. I’m a huge fan of funk music so it was an added bonus to say the least. The costumes were fantastic as well due to the fact the film looked like be transported to the 1970’s. The production design was also thought out well as the whole movie looks like it’s straight from the 70’s. I like when movies that are focused on a different era use the production design budget well. It makes you feel like your really in a different era.
The only thing I would really warn someone about is there is quite a bit of profanity in it. I for one didn’t have a problem with it, but I know there are others that don’t feel that way. It’s not like every other word is a swear word, but in some scenes they do say some quite a bit. There is a bit of nudity as well so if those two things are not your cup of tea, then it might not be something that you would want to see. It takes a lot to offend me when it comes to movies so those two things were not a problem with me.
Overall, Dolemite Is My Name is a great film and if you have Netflix I suggest you check it out. While it’s definitely not a family picture, it has an awesome message and that’s not to ever give up your dreams. If you have an idea that you truly believe in then go for it because who’s stopping you from sharing that idea with the world. Some people might not like what you have to offer, but you are always going to have people that support it and it brings joy to their lives. Craig Brewer and Eddie Murphy really bring that idea to life and it show on screen. It’s a shame Murphy didn’t get more recognition for the role during awards season. The secondary characters really shine as well especially Da’Vine Joy Randolph and Wesley Snipes. The thing to make a comedy work is to obviously be funny and for someone that is pretty picky about his comedy films, I have to admit that I was laughing pretty hard and that doesn’t happen much. I just wanted to finish off saying welcome back Eddie Murphy.