April 6, 2001. January 18, 2002. August 16, 2002. That many release dates, spanning almost a year and a half, is never a good sign. The buzz was bad before it was even released, and upon release, audiences reacted negatively. How is it that Eddie Murphy continues to choose so many terrible scripts?
"The Adventures of Pluto Nash" stars Murphy as a nightclub owner who becomes the victim of a ruthless kingpin looking to take over the moon. He is forced to go on the run with Rosario Dawson and his bodyguard robot Randy Quaid. Yes, Randy Quaid. The cast also includes Pam Grier, Jay Mohr, Joe Pantoliano and Alec Baldwin. Good cast, not so good of a movie.
Then again, "Pluto Nash" is nowhere as bad as it is labeled to be ("the worst movie of the year"). Compared to the likes of "The New Guy," "Rollerball," and several others, it is quite entertaining. Compared to any decent comedy, though, it is pretty pathetic. It is one of those ambitious films gone bad; the world is there, but there is nothing to fill it.
The world created in "Pluto Nash" is pretty impressive. The graphics are quite good in parts (and not-so-good elsewhere), and there is enough creativity to be worth a look. However, the movie just isn't that funny. Eddie Murphy does his best with such drab material, but there are just so few jokes that are actually funny that the characters basically run around and do nothing. Oh, and just in case you're wondering, watching a robotic Randy Quaid get "excited" about female robots is not all that comical.
But wait! "The Adventures of Pluto Nash" is an action-comedy. How's the action?
The action pretty much stinks. There are many scenes where Pluto takes on a bunch of guys and they exchange laser fire; there is nothing at all impressive about the action. It is bland and boring, without much in the way of originality. This wouldn't matter so much if the comedy was good, but the comedy isn't good, and the movie seems to be trying to take the action way too seriously. If the director had tried to do more comical action, along the lines of "Austin Powers," for instance, he might have had something. Instead, we get a movie with bad action and bad comedy.
The only thing that saves this movie is Eddie Murphy himself. While everything around him stinks, he glows enough to give off a little light. He is given a few good lines, but most importantly he is just a fun character to root for (as in most of his movies, even the bad ones). His personality saves the day.
"The Adventures of Pluto Nash" is by no means the worst movie in the world, but the movies below it are not exactly winners. The only reason to see this one is to refute this review.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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