September 06, 2002 at 04:00 AM EDT

The Adventures of Pluto Nash

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG-13
runtime
95 minutes
Wide Release Date
08/16/02
performer
Eddie Murphy, Alec Baldwin, Peter Boyle, Rosario Dawson, Illeana Douglas, Pam Grier, Jay Mohr, Joe Pantoliano, Randy Quaid
director
Ron Underwood
Producer
Eddie Murphy
distributor
Warner Bros.
author
Neil Cuthbert
genre
Action Adventure, Comedy, Sci-fi and Fantasy
We gave it a D-

There’s one way that this action comedy set on the moon seems truly lunar: It isn’t weighed down by jokes. In the 21st century, America sets up a satellite colony that looks like a triple-decker shopping mall built entirely out of discarded hunks of aluminum siding. If only someone had discarded the script! As Pluto Nash, a stylishly attired opportunist who attempts to hunt down the gangster who blew up his nightclub, Eddie Murphy delivers his lines with that weirdly relaxed, fake-enthusiastic bonhomie that telegraphs, just below the surface, a what-am-I-doing-here? bafflement desperate enough to match Elvis Presley’s in his worst bombs. Every 15 minutes or so, we get a stale crumb of back-to-the-future satire that would have been dated even if the movie had been released on schedule a year ago — Hillary Clinton on a $10,000 bill, a reference to the intersection of Microsoft and Sixth, and so on. How on earth, or anywhere else, did director Ron Underwood manage to blow $100 million on this? The one lively element is Randy Quaid, bald and towering, with hypno-eyes and a ’50s robot voice, as a silver-suited ‘droid who looks like he should have been called Maxi-Me.

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