Directed by: Brian Robbins,
Starring: Eddie Murphy, Thandie Newton, Terry Crews, Clifton Powell, Cuba Gooding Jr
What’s wrong with Eddie Murphy? After his fantastic performance in Dreamgirls, and after playing all the possible characters in the Nutty Professor series, was there any reason for him to do this film, play three characters, and go on in an extended joke against obesity.
But Murphy has done it, and best you can say that this is a ‘sick’ ego trip (Murphy himself wrote the screenplay with his brother Charles) of an otherwise talented actor. Here, Murphy plays three roles: man, woman and the Chinese guardian; the hero Norbit, the heroine Rasputia and Chinese Mr Wong, Norbit’s sort of guardian. Do you really want to endure the scenes where a fat Murphy deal with a thin Murphy, as the thin one makes fun of the fat one, as the fat Murphy goes all lovey-dovey over thin Murphy while the thin Murphy goes all weak in knees seeing his lady love, while the Chinese Murphy does not seem to fit anywhere.
The male, thin Murphy, a good guy, is engaged to a big, fat, female Murphy. Enters the girl of Norbit’s dream, Kate (Thandie Newton, charming, and probably the only good thing about the film.) and the chase begins to escape the fat Murphy. The stage is set of crude humour, racist slurs and anti-obesity mindset, and things go to such an extent that you feel repulsed by the unfunny gigs.
As the movie ends, you wonder what was all these about? Forget other things, the film is not even funny, in the positive sense of the word. If you thought Shallow Hal (where the hero falls in love with a fat woman thinking that she is slim) was offensive, then Norbit is outright vulgar.
There aren’t much to write home about. Eddie Murphy is competent, no doubt about it, but do really want to see him as a woman (not as a disguise, but a real one)? And, what a talented actors like Cuba Gooding Jr doing here.
The news is that the film opened at the number one slot in the US. So laughing at someone’s size may be a funny business after all. Are you game?