Movie Stats & Links
||Eddie Murphy, Thandie Newton,
Cuba Gooding, Jr., Eddie Griffin
||Only if you want
to explain the word "tit" a lot.
||Only if you hate
||Lots of talk,
Rasputia jumiping on Norbit, and Marlon Wayans' butt.
||A harpoon in the
||When the neighbor
dog tells Norbit: "Kill the bitch." That and Pope
Sweet Jesus' (Eddie Griffin) condom advice.
||John Davis, Eddie
A Movie Review
The career of Eddie Murphy is sometimes mind-boggling.
First he does some brilliant stand-up work. Then some not.
Then there are some great movie performances. Then some not.
And just when you sort of forgot about him other than being
Donkey in the Shrek series, he pops back up with Oscar talk
for his role in "Dreamgirls." And now there is "Norbit."
If you recall a funny Eddie Murphy, you might remember
"Coming to America" where he played a number of different
characters thanks to some great make-up. In "Norbit" he
plays three characters, thanks again to great make-up. First
off he plays Norbit, the should-be lovable lead character of
the film. He also plays Rasputia, Norbitís morbidly obese
and abusive wife. And finally he plays Mr. Wong, the owner
of the orphanage/restaurant where Norbit was left as a baby.
As the movie plays out, we see Norbit at the orphanage where
he becomes best friends with Kate. Sadly, for Norbit, Kate
gets adopted, leading up to Norbitís meeting Rasputia who
pretty much makes Norbit her bitch. He also ends up working
for Rasputiaís hoodlum brothers who run a local construction
company, but mostly just extort "protection" money from the
local town folk. Norbitís life is pretty crappy, but then
grown-up Kate (Thandie Newton) comes back into town,
brightening up his day, until, of course, we find out that
Kate is engaged to Deion (Cuba Gooding, Jr.). But strange
things are afoot as Norbit and Kate still obviously love
each other, we find the true nature of Deion, and Rasputia
nearly kills a little girl at the water park.
You know what, Iím not even going to waste any more of
your time, nor mine, with a synopsis of the movie, because
pretty much it is easy to see exactly where this movie is
going from the start. What isnít exactly easy to see is at
what point Eddie Murphy thought this would be a good way to
further his career? I know he had a hand in writing the
story, and the initial concept seems kind of funny, but
where things seem to get lost is whether they intended this
movie to be safe enough to bring the kids (it isnít, unless
you want to explain to them what a tittie bar is, and they
use the word "tit" a lot), or raunchy enough for the college
kids and adults to laugh at it (it isnít this, either,
although I love the name for the nudie bar the brothers want
to open Ė The Nipplopolis). The best scenes in the movie are
those that involve either Mr. Wong, or when the neighbor dog
talks to Norbit.
There is some talk that "Norbit" just might cost Eddie
Murphy his Oscar for "Dreamgirls," but I hope that the Oscar
voters arenít that petty to count "Norbit" against Mr.
Murphy. Sadly I have to say that I only give this movie Ĺ
star out of 5. If you want to see Eddie Murphy at his
multiple-personality best, watch "Coming to America" again.