October 5, 2012

A Thousand Words (2012)

Eddie Murphy, Kerry Washington



Just the other day, I saw Liar Liar with Jim Carey on tv. It was fitting then, that I watched this movie later the same week. Why? Because they're sort of the same. You might think, what does a guy who has to always tell the truth have to do with a guy who isn't allowed to talk anymore? Let me explain.

When you strip the movies down to their rough plot outlines, it reads something like this:

Step 1. Guy who is dishonest in life, but can't see he needs reforming
Step 2. Curse placed upon him, forcing him to live in the way that will ultimately help him 
Step 3. Overacting by lead character that's supposed to be funny ensues, followed by epiphany of what life really means 
Step 4. You can guess how it ends

Stretch this idea a bit further, and you could include Yes Man, and even Bruce Almighty. So basically, Eddie Murphy and Jim Carey have become interchangeable in their bad movies. Ok, maybe "bad" is a bit harsh, but let's not pretend A Thousand Words is on par with Beverly Hills Cop, Coming to America, or really, anything he made before 1998 (which was when he made Dr. Dolittle and officially lost his status as a cutting edge actor in my book). Let's call them so-so movies that are rerun on TNT a little too often.

Every time I'm surprised Eddie Murphy is allowed to make a new movie (especially after The Adventures of Pluto Nash or Meet Dave), I remind myself the people still go see his movies! In fact, he's the second highest grossing actor of all time!! Like so many other movies, it's not terrible, it's just nothing original. And any movie that makes me immediately think that the main character could be swapped for Jim Carey isn't exactly a ringing endorsement. Then again, casting someone who can't fulfill Step #3 (overacting) would probably make the movie worse.

Final word: I couldn't even come up with a thousand original words to say about this movie.

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