I can't remember the last time Eddie Murphy had a good performance.
The promos for this flick may look completely silly,
but this comedy does have more good elements than bad. Murphy plays
not just an alien spacecraft built in the guise and proportions of a
human being, but it's quarter inch tall Captain who commands an entire
crew living and working within. After traveling across the stars and
landing (face first) on Liberty Island, their mission is to locate a
small orb sent to drain the salt from Earth's oceans to be used as
a power source for their dying world.
Murphy the ship
may look like a human in a Saturday Night Fever suit, but his behavior
is robotic and quite alien. He should blend in rather nicely in New
York where he encounters single mother Elizabeth Banks who not only
hits him with her car, but her son (Austin Lynd Myers) coincidentally
has the orb in his possession. Murphy the Captain controls the ship's
speech and facial expressions from the deck of a bridge within the head
while various crew members work the limbs and torso at key stations.
Banks, a widower, is either clueless or desperate to meet a man since
she never picks up on the fact that this guy acts a little weird. That
fact that he calls himself "Dave Ming-Chang" apparently wasn't big
enough a clue.
The story misses several opportunities
starting with the relationship between Banks and Murphy the ship aka
"Dave". I though this was going to be a film where Dave the ship would
become self aware and fall in love with Banks against the orders of its
internal crew, but this is not the case. Rest assured if he were a
white male it would be another story.
Murphy is not
really funny as the ship. Writers Rob Greenberg and Bill Corbett
attempt to milk humor from Dave through various encounters with Banks
and her son as well as customers at an Old Navy store during a scene
where he attempts to shop for a new wardrobe. So many opportunities
are wasted. With Dave as the "straight man" there are so many
hilarious situations and encounters he could have been thrust into.
Imagine if he ventured away from Times Square towards maybe Harlem and
encountered black residents who could have asked "Brother, why the hell
do you talk like that?"
Bottom line is, if you don't want to stress your brain up this one's as an easy swing.