WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A live, profanity-laced concert film of one of Eddie’s stand-up performances in New York City, filmed in 1987. Here, he rags on a variety of subjects ranging from gays and Italians to Bill Cosby and Michael Jackson (oops, I already mentioned gays). His main focus is on relationships, infidelity, sex and women. This is back when Eddie still had a sense of humor and wasn’t making rotten PG-rated movies all of the time.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
I gave this film a 5 on 10 because for a stand-up performance, it wasn’t very funny. I laughed out loud only a couple of times and although I did have a smile on my face pretty much through the first hour, I realized it was mostly due to Eddie’s masterful way of cursing, cool attitude and ease on stage. Some of my favorite comedians like George Carlin, Dennis Miller and Chris Rock also use profane language, but with it, they make me laugh hysterically on a consistent basis, which wasn’t the case with RAW. Also, many of the gags that are based solely on 80’s personalities don’t translate too well anymore (Mr. T, Brooke Shields, Johnny Carson, Bill Cosby). I mean, if a kid in his early twenties rented this now, a lot of the jokes would either go over his head, or prove to be way too lame and passé. That being said, Eddie’s impression of a stereotypical Italian is gold, stay tuned for that…
Another thing I liked was the enthusiasm Murphy had whenever he spoke about something he was truly passionate about. This was the case when he got into specific details about relationships and its many rocky roads. That’s definitely the most interesting and entertaining part of the show. The last 20 minutes is a write-off. He gets into this boring bit about getting into a fight and then calls his folks and blah, blah, blah…It doesn’t really go anywhere and he resorts to the often used joke about how parents exaggerate how hard life was when they were growing up. Worst of all, he concludes the show with an extremely weak ending. The last 20 minutes should have been cut (the runtime is 90 minutes.). It was definitely nice seeing Eddie back in a time and place when he was still funny though, making funny movies and not caring if people looked him right in his eyes on his movie sets. That Eddie is unfortunately...no more.
PS: Look for a young Sam Jackson in the sketch that precedes the stand-up show.
If you’re used to today’s edgier comics or stand-up shows that continually dish out the laughs, then you’re better off skipping this as a rental or purchase. This is for die-hard Eddie Murphy fans only, in other words...very few people.