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Film Review: A Thousand Words

March 10, 2012
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Eddie Murphy's career has been in the toilet for a few years now and just when you think he'd finally climb his way back out of the bowl he puts out a stinker and tries to flush away once more. In A Thousand Words Eddie Murphy continues his career slide and manages to make his other bombs like Meet Dave and Norbert look nearly award-winning. It's just the latest example of how poor choices in material can really hot a talented performer's career.

In the film Eddie Murphy plays Jack McCall, a self-absorbed, sleazy literary agent who doesn't bother to read books which presumably was a role Murphy prepared for in all likelihood method style since he clearly didn't bother to read this steaming pile of crap script.

In between ignoring his wife played by Terry Washington and abusing his assistant (Clark Duke), Jack attempts to sign a spiritual who rule, Dr. Sinja(Cliff Curtis), on aware of the fact that the gurus long-awaited and much anticipated book is only five pages long.

While attempting to woo Dr. Sinja to sign with him Jack cuts himself on a tree that later ends up magically showing up in his backyard garden. Jack soon finds out that a leaf falls off the tree for every word he speaks or writes, and when it's finally bearing, he will die.

Dr. Sinja advises Jack to stop speaking for just a few days while he attempts to find a solution. But you know did that this is clearly a very short film so Jack instead a chance to go about his daily business which includes many high-pressure situations by simply using mimicked gestures and animalistic grunts. Faced with problems anyone who's ever had laryngitis would be familiar with, Jack somehow manages to lose his job and alienate everyone was part of his life until he finally has a spiritual conversion of sorts and you guessed it becomes a better man.

For once it can't be claimed that Murphy simply phoned in the job. It's obvious he put in a great effort into this which unfortunately at best received mild laughs. This time the failure of this Murphy film has to do with the terrible script and lack of the director using Eddie Murphy's natural comic ability.

I will say that only enjoyable thing about this film for me was the work of Murphy's assistant played by Clark Duke. In fact it could be argued that the baby faced assistant steals the film away from Murphy and makes the viewer's wish for more screen time from him.

All in all I wouldn't say it wasn't terrible movie but it's pretty darn close. In fact if I hadn't watched it already I probably would feel cheated even using my Netflix DVD choice on it so unless it manages to make it to Netflix instant I say wait to watch this stinker on television. I give the film one and a half out of five stars.

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