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The Adventures Of Pluto Nash
cast: Eddie Murphy, Randy Quaid, Rosario Dawson, Joe Pantoliano, and Peter Boyle

director: Ron Underwood

91 minutes (PG) 2002
widescreen ratio 1.85:1
Warner DVD Region 2 retail

RATING: 2/10
reviewed by Emma French
The critical mauling this film received when it opened in cinemas was richly deserved. This is Hollywood at its worst, an expensive (unbelievably, it cost a cool $100 million to make) vanity project for a star way past his prime. The script by Neil Cuthbert is staggeringly lazy, with phoney pay-offs and a criminally low amount of workable jokes. The ludicrous plot sees Pluto Nash (Eddie Murphy) as a successful lunar nightclub owner in trouble with the mafia. It falls uncomfortably somewhere between surreal and garbled, allowing the audience little scope for suspending disbelief. If this is the year 2087, it's a mercy most of us won't live to see it.
   Rosario Dawson looks great but acts badly as a wannabe singer. Randy Quaid camps it up with an air of quiet desperation as a robotic sidekick who makes Robin Williams' saccharine Bicentennial Man look like an endearing companion. Eddie Murphy is at his worst, failing to display even the manic jouissance that has seen him through many filmic mediocrities in the past. Murphy is best when either sending up his own screen persona in a film such as Bowfinger, or when playing a three-dimensional character outside the confines of his wise-cracking, such as Doctor Doolittle or the Nutty Professor, whose respective irascibility and vulnerable sweetness allow the audience to forgive the occasional flat gag.
   This film is literally cringe-making to watch, not least for its dubious jive-talking, off-colour humour and politically incorrect stereotyping that has little place in 21st century cinema. Even heavyweight cameos by Pam Grier, John Cleese and Alec Baldwin fail to raise the excitement or hilarity levels.
   Rent or buy Lost In Space instead for a really hilarious, and heart-warming, fantasy adventure, and avoid this piece of cosmic pollution.
   If the 94-minute runtime of the film fails to satiate even those with the highest boredom thresholds, the DVD extras scrape the bottom of the barrel too. The uninspiring selection includes the music video and making of the music video, four additional scenes, as entertaining as anything left in the film, rendering their exclusion mysterious, interactive menus, and the pretty much standard scene access and trailer. There are also "enhanced" features for your CD-ROM.
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