a critiQal film review The Adventures of Pluto Nash (2002)

  • DVD
  • Vudu

Plot: Pluto Nash (Murphy) is an ex-con. Years after acquiring a club, he’s made the place the biggest success on the moon. When Mogan (Pantoliano) tries to buy the club, he refuses. Next thing he knows, his club explodes. Now he, new waitress Dina (Dawson), and his bodyguard, Bruno (Quaid), need to find out who wants them dead. With the help of some of Pluto’s friends, they search for clues as to who the mysterious Rex Carter is, and why he wants to kill them.

Reviewed
479 words (Est. Reading Time 2m 23s)
  • ...Eddie's at least trying to make up for Beverly Hills Cop III.

This is the first Eddie Murphy film I’ve seen since the atrocity that was Beverly Hills Cop III (1994). I’ve been too worried about the downward trend Eddie had seemed to be on, and wasn’t willing to risk the few hours of my time (Yes, Beverly Hills Cop III (1994) left a big scar on my psyche). The more previews I saw for The Adventures of Pluto Nash, the more I leaned toward giving in and seeing it. It looked funny, so I finally gave in, and rented it.

The acting was decently done. This wasn’t a big dramatic film, so the actors weren’t as restrained to do their best. They just needed it to be good enough, and to have decent enough timing for the jokes to work. With these low criteria, everyone measured up, no problem. Eddie Murphy, while not up to his previous comedic genius (shown on “Saturday Night Live” (TV) and his stand-up performances), still has re-learned some of his old talents, and comes off looking pretty well here. Rosario Dawson basically seems to be around just as a foil for him, while Randy Quaid, in a great casting decision as a robot, turns in his best performance since the National Lampoon’s Vacation films.

The story was a nice twist on a comedy premise. Rather then taking the main characters and putting them into a completely different situation, they took the audience and put them in a totally different situation. The future situation gave the plot a lot of easy joke situations that wouldn’t be available in a comedy set in the present day. There was a decent storyline to back up the comedy as well, and the scenes all seemed to further the plot nicely.

The special effects in The Adventures of Pluto Nash were very impressive, mostly. The air cars definitely showed off how realistic special effects can seem. Plus, with the whole backdrop of the moon, it was nice not to notice the characters digitally entered. The whole film fit together pretty seamlessly, a good feat for a film with such a large amount of special effects. The effects of gravity weren’t as impressive as they could have been, but they were only shown during a brief sequence, so didn’t seem to detract much from the movie as a whole.

It might be a bit early to say Eddie Murphy is back, but this movie shows he has realized the error of his ways, and has started picking somewhat better scripts. This hasn’t removed all the damage that Beverly Hills Cop III (1994) has done to his career, but at least with The Adventures Of Pluto Nash, Eddie does look like he’s trying to win us back.

Rent or buy The Adventures of Pluto Nash, and show your support. After all, who wants another movie as bad (or egads, worse) then Beverly Hills Cop III (1994)?

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