The Adventures of Pluto Nash

Review Date:
Director: Ron Underwood
Writer: Neil Cuthbert
Producers: Martin Bregman, Michael Bregman
Eddie Murphy
Rosario Dawson
Randy Quaid
The year is 2087 and Pluto Nash owns one of the most popular nightclubs on the Moon. But after turning down a juicy offer from a gangster to buy the club, Pluto quickly becomes a fugitive on the run, with his right-hand robot by his side, and his nice-assed girl, by the other side. Nothing special ensues.
This film biggest problem? No laughs. Not exactly a “good thing” when you’re being touted as a sci-fi comedy and star one of the most popular comedians around, Eddie Murphy. Of course, Murphy’s name hasn’t exactly been synonymous with the funniest of pictures of late, in fact, the man is severely in need of a major overhaul, or in the very least, a better taste in scripts. Having said that, this movie wasn’t as horrible as I was expecting it to be, especially with everything that it had playing against it: 1) it was shot in my hometown of Montreal (other notable flicks shot here include ROLLERBALL, BATTLEFIELD EARTH, JOHNNY MNEMONIC) 2) it was originally supposed to be released over a year and a half ago 3) the studio decided not to screen the movie for critics. Those three reasons and its lame trailer made it seem like a prime candidate for the shitstain movie of the year, but it wasn’t pure caca. Sure, the plot was serviceable, the jokes relatively sparse and uninspired (the moon currency is made up of “Hillarys”– (har-dee-har-har), the score, overbearing and Murphy, very restrained and too much of a “straight man”. But there were some decent cameos and appearances by others which did strike my fancy including Alec Baldwin, hilarious as a mob boss, Luis Guzman, who always lights up a scene and does so once more here and John Cleese, of whom I am not usually a big fan, but who is ideal as a talking car in this movie.

Jay Mohr was also entertaining for the little time that he was on screen, while the film’s greatest attribute was probably its set design, gadgets and special effects which were all pretty impressive (word on the street is that the flick cost about $80 million, so you’d better hope that the effects were good). Unfortunately for everyone involved, the movie doesn’t really attain any type of momentum and rarely achieves any degree of tension or all-out fun. It does include a couple of decent shoot-outs and a space chase scene though, but overall, it’s basically Murphy running around from place to place, with name actors coming in and out every other scene (including Joe Pantaliano, Pam Grier, Illeana Douglas, Peter Boyle, Burt Young…). Randy Quaid also has a very big part in the movie as Murphy’s assistant robot and I thought that he was atrocious. Other members of the audience seemed to dig his faux-robot antics, but he was too over-the-top, unfunny and obvious for me. I did dig on “Babette” the female robot who had a nifty habit of always leaning over in her maid’s outfit though…nice! Overall, the film really doesn’t entertain by many means and does very little to help Murphy escape his new reputation as the “has been comedian” (and God knows the upcoming I SPY looks just as bad). The movie is certainly not worth leaving your home to see in the theaters but you might want to rent it on video, if only for the decent sets and handful of interesting cameos. “Keep moving folks…there’s nothing to see here.”

(c) 2021 Berge Garabedian

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