How many times are we going to have to see some former stand-up comedian dressed in rubber fat lady suit, beating to death saggy boob jokes before people realize this kind of comedy just isn't funny enough to carry a movie?
Robin Williams walked the legs off this dog in "Mrs. Doubtfire." Just last month, Martin Lawrence force-fed the same quadriplegic mutt a meal of clodding libido and flatulence gags before dragging it around the block in "Big Momma's House."
Apparently now it's Eddie Murphy's turn, and with its bottom-scraping sex and body function humor, "Nutty Professor II: The Klumps" is the biggest dog of them all.
Taking that one famous dinner episode from his 1996 "Nutty Professor" remake -- in which Murphy hammed it up as several members of Sherman Klump's obnoxious, jumbo family in a single scene -- and stretching it out for 110 grating, tediously unfunny minutes, "The Klumps" is the kind of insultingly cliché-driven crap Hollywood studios happily crank out when they know suckers will be standing in line for tickets no matter how bad their movie is. Honestly, I think they do it on purpose just to see how vapid people are. And this weekend, Universal Studios and Eddie Murphy will be laughing all the way to the bank.
Dumpster-diving for its endless supply of boorishly crude penis jokes, denture jokes, anal bestiality jokes and other cheap laughs for simple people, "The Klumps" limps through a skeleton of a contrived plot about 1) a youth formula gone wrong, which someone must eventually drink by accident; 2) the return of Sherman Klump's odious alter ego, Buddy Love; and 3) Sherman's clumsy romancing of a genetic physicist at his university, played by -- get this! -- Janet Jackson. Talk about zero credibility casting!
Murphy gives a sympathetic performance as Sherman, who starts losing his smarts after diddling with his DNA to rid himself of Buddy Love -- his sexist pig second personality -- so he can throw himself at Jackson without Buddy jumping out and scaring her.
As Buddy -- who is then brought to life in a test tube goop accident makes him part dog -- he provides the movie its only real laugh, since he's now unable to resist the temptation to lust after poodles, chase cats and play catch with tennis balls -- even as he tries to undermine Sherman's big plans for his youth serum.
But his showcased characterizations of the rest of the Klump family -- Sherman's wrinkly, sex-crazed grandma, impotent grandpa, obnoxiously ebullient mom, grumpy dad and rude uncle, all CGI-ed into scenes together -- are so self-indulgent and repetitive that every one of them has worn out their welcome after the movie's first scene. The scene is cut like the Budwiser "Wazzup!" commercials, with a non-stop deluge of jabbering Klump close-ups as they snap at each other over dinner.
Directed by Peter Segal ("Tommy Boy") from a script prefabricated by half a dozen lazy writers (including "American Pie's" Chris and Paul Weitz) working from a dusty Screenwriting 101 manual, "The Klumps" is a narrative mess. Padded with extraneous dream sequences (Sherman propelling himself through the space shuttle on fart power), dependent on bad B-movie plot devices (Buddy's science lab resurrection), and coated with a forced, false sense of poignancy (complete with tender moments in slow-motion), it couldn't be more obvious that nobody involved in this picture gives a hoot how much it stinks, as long as they get a percentage of the gross.
What's worse, "The Klumps" is one of those detestably hackneyed movies that would be over in 30 minutes if the characters who are supposed to love each weren't liars and idiots.
Sherman spends the whole movie feeding Jackson a line of B.S. about why he's acting so strange, she's so thick she can't see through him, and the "happy ending" is entirely dependent on her forgiveness of his behavior.
Does the world really need yet another movie that preaches the key to romantic happiness is women acquiescing to their men's inherent dishonesty? Could somebody please explain to me why women don't find these movies misogynistic?
Box Office Worldwide: $123.3M
Production compaines: Universal Pictures, Imagine Entertainment
Contactmusic.com: 0.5 / 5
Director: Peter Segal
Starring: Eddie Murphy as Professor Sherman Klump and various roles, Janet Jackson as Denise Gaines, Larry Miller as Dean Richmond, John Ales as Jason, Richard Gant as Denise's Father, Anna Maria Horsford as Denise's Mother, Melinda McGraw as Leanne Guilford, Jamal Mixon as Ernie Klump, Jr., Gabriel Williams as Isaac, Chris Elliott as Restaurant Manager, Duffy Taylor as Restaurant Trainee, Earl Boen as Dr. Knoll, Nikki Cox as Bright Student, Sylvester Jenkins as Old Willie, Wanda Sykes as Chantal, Charles Walker as Preacher, Enya Flack as Bridesmaid, Freda Payne as Claudine
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