Eddie Murphy is an iconic comedic figure and household name in entertainment. Known for his captivating stage presence, infectious energy, and undeniable talent, Eddie is widely considered one of the greatest comedians ever. But even top artists have their share of missteps; Eddie is no exception.
Murphy has made an impression career mark as an actor by appearing in numerous genres and films, proving his versatility and willingness to explore different formats and genres. While most have garnered critical acclaim and commercial success, some have disappointed critics and audiences alike, leaving many perplexed and disappointed.
This article takes an in-depth look at Murphy’s cinematic misses, discussing what contributed to their disappointing reception and deriving any lessons from these comedic misfires.
The Adventures of Pluto Nash (2002)
“The Adventures of Pluto Nash,” set in 2085, tells the tale of a nightclub owner on the moon named Pluto Nash who becomes embroiled in an illegal plot to take control of his colony. Eddie Murphy plays multiple roles throughout the film – from Pluto himself, his twin brother, and even an unlikely robot character!
Critics panned the film upon its release, criticizing its uninspired plot, lackluster humor, and excessive CGI use. Box office performance was similarly poor – earning only $6.1 million against its $60 million budget – one of Murphy’s largest financial miscalculations.
A romantic comedy with a dark edge, “Norbit” follows Norbit, a mild-mannered cook trapped in an abusive marriage with Rasputia (Rachelle Fiennes). As a way out from under the wife’s control, Norbit finds comfort with Kate (Kate Bates), an appealing woman who sees through Rasputia’s facade and is interested in Norbit.
Murphy played both Norbit and Rasputia in the film, to mixed reviews. While some lauded his ability to embody two vastly distinct characters, others found his performance overly exaggerated and cartoonish. Furthermore, some found its humor offensive due to the overuse of offensive stereotypes.
Beverly Hills Cop III (1994)
“Beverly Hills Cop III,” the third installment in the popular “Beverly Hills Cop” franchise, brings back Axel Foley with his Detroit colleagues as they investigate a series of high-stakes thefts in Los Angeles. However, critics generally found its plot uninspiring and humor lacking the edge found in its predecessors.
Despite of mixed reviews, the film performed moderately well at the box office and earned over $144.4 million worldwide. Unfortunately, however, it failed to capture the magic of its predecessor and disappointed its audience.
One Thousand Words (2012)
“A Thousand Words,” a fantasy comedy-drama, follows literary agent Jack Jordan through his trials by speaking only positively and learning the value of honesty and communication.
Murphy’s performance in the film received mixed reviews, with some critics applauding his comedic timing while others found his character unlikable. The overall reception for the film was generally lackluster as many critics felt its plot and message were too simplistic and preachy.
Vampire in Brooklyn (1995)
“Vampire in Brooklyn,” a supernatural comedy-horror film starring Eddie Murphy as Maximilian, a vampire traveling through Brooklyn looking for a bride, received generally negative reviews from critics due to its subpar humor and overly cliched plot.
Though critically derided, the film performed moderately well at the box office – grossing $80 million worldwide. Unfortunately, it failed to meet Murphy fans’ expectations and remains an unfortunate stain on his otherwise impressive filmography.
While these films don’t display Eddie Murphy at his finest, they serve as valuable reminders that even talented artists can fumble. From these failures likely came valuable lessons about strong storytelling, authentic characters, and humor that resonated with audiences.
Eddie Murphy remains a comedic icon, undisputedly contributing to entertainment worldwide and shaping generations of comedians with his influence. Regardless of any mistakes he may have made along his journey, Eddie’s legacy remains an icon of comedy. His contributions remain undeniable, while his influence on future comedians remains immeasurable.
What is Eddie Murphy’s worst movie according to critics?
The Adventures of Pluto Nash (2002) is widely considered to be Eddie Murphy’s worst movie, with a dismal 11% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
What are some of the reasons why Eddie Murphy’s worst movies have been criticized?
Uninspired plots, Lackluster humor, Overly crude or offensive humor, Poor character development and Excessive use of CGI
Has Eddie Murphy ever acknowledged his worst movies?
In a 2019 interview with Vulture, Eddie Murphy admitted that he has made some “bad movies” throughout his career. However, he also defended some of his less popular films, noting that they were successful at the box office and were enjoyed by many fans.
What lessons can be learned from Eddie Murphy’s worst movies?
The importance of strong storytelling, authentic characters, and humor that resonates with audiences are all valuable lessons that can be learned from Eddie Murphy’s worst movies.
Despite his worst movies, is Eddie Murphy still considered a comedic icon?
Absolutely. Eddie Murphy is still considered a comedic icon, with a long list of critically acclaimed and commercially successful films to his credit. His influence on generations of comedians is undeniable.