"Meet Dave", Eddie Murphy's Latest Failure

According to an age-old Hollywood maxim, it's just as hard to make a bad movie as a good one. If true, I guess we can't accuse anyone of slacking off at 20th Century Fox. The box-office jury is still out on "Meet Dave," but the critics have weighed in: The sci-fi comedy -- about an alien spaceship that looks like, well, like Eddie Murphy -- is a stinker.

Eddie Murphy's latest movie, which is a B comedy about an alien ship disguised as... Eddie Murphy, with a captain who is a tiny Eddie Murphy, bombs all the way. Meet Dave is disappointing especially because Eddie Murphy is one of the actors who could indeed put out something valuable, but apparently he doesn't care and is in it totally for the money.

The story line is childish, but that wouldn't be a problem as, after all, we're talking about a Hollywood comedy. Aliens come to Earth to steal our natural resources in order to save their home planet. The alien crew creates Dave Ming Chang who looks like a human being but is just a machine and tries to control his moves so he doesn’t look suspicious. At first, his moves are a little stiff and weird… and somewhat funny, maybe, for those who dig this type of very basic humor.

The small creatures, that come from the Planet Nill to find an orb which will suck the salt water from the oceans in order to be used by Nillians, are very serious at the beginning but, as they get to spend more time on Earth among people, they start to integrate and turn out to be as stupid as we are.

While he tries to be human, the Dave-ship begins to experience some warm feelings regarding Gina Morrison, a single mom played by Elizabeth Banks. The mini- Dave, the captain of the alien crew, also played by Eddie Murphy, is secretly fancied by his cultural officer (Gabrielle Union).

The movie shows Murphy's primary strength, or maybe his real acting passion: physical comedy. There's also his obsession with multiple roles (maybe he liked that scene in Being John Malkovich). The gags are usually lame, managing to produce smiles quite rarely.

Everybody seemed to notice that the Dave-ship performance was probably inspired by Steve Martin wrestling with himself in "All of Me."

The movie is, overall, another waste of talents, not just of Murphy's (we already got used to that) but also of his fellow actors. It's quite appalling that money, time and energy are put to such a waste, when with a little more effort and will, a much better comedy could have emerged. It seems that Murphy and Co. do not care about their reputation and their career, and are just out for a quick buck.

MPAA rating: PG for bawdy and suggestive humor, action and some language.
Running time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Starring Eddie Murphy, Elizabeth Banks, Gabrielle Union and Scott Caan
Directed by: Brian Robbins
Written by: Rob Greenberg and Bill Corbett
Release Date: 11 July

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