#CriticSpeak: Eddie Murphy’s new film commits a thousand crimes

by Wilfred Okiche

Poor Eddie Murphy.

He has not headlined a hit since his Oscar nominated turn in 2006’s ‘Dreamgirls’ and the commercial failure of his last three movies has earned him the label, ‘box-office poison’. His latest film, ‘A Thousand words’ released over the weekend unfortunately continues in this tradition.

Both a critical and commercial failure, (it earned only $6.3million and no positive reviews) it is a clear frontrunner for worst picture of the year and has placed Eddie’s future leading man status in doubt.

Here’s what the critics are saying:

‘’If he (Murphy) puts some effort into a career, I think he could still make a comeback. To do this, he would have to find real filmmakers and develop something. Otherwise, these ‘’words’’ may be his last.’’     Forbes

‘’But in “A Thousand Words,” shot in 2008 and now available for your viewing displeasure, Murphy is  a first-rate talent stuck in yet another third-rate piece of bleccch’’     Los Angeles Times

Among the film’s many producers is Nicolas Cage. How he managed to dodge the bullet of starring in it is anybody’s guess.    The Hollywood Reporter

‘’The Eddie Murphy you love is dead!… and maybe it’s time we started accepting that.’’     Gawker.com

‘’If this film were completely rewritten using the same premise and same actors, I’d probably see it- but this version will definitely not get a second look.’’     Cinemablend.com

‘’The comedy feels as forced and flat-footed as the uplift, and scenes of tense marital discord and drippy dream sequences sit uncomfortably alongside slapstick hijinks and a few smirkingly homophobic gags.’’     Variety.com

The new Murphy’s law = ‘’High concept comedy idea + comedian of considerable, if flagging relevance + several years on the studio shelf = a miserable piece of cinematic sludge.’’     Filmcritic

‘’The movie also virtually makes no sense.’’     EW.com

‘’Kids who can’t keep up with the demanding complexities of Sesame Street will be able to follow this one.’’    AV Club

‘’It’s disheartening when the highest praise you can give an Eddie Murphy performance is that at least he left his fat suit at home.’’     Arizona Republic

‘’In ‘A Thousand Words’ the camera stays about two inches from Murphy’s hyperactive face, and you start to see the strain and desperation in the actor’s eyes.’’    Chicago Tribune

‘’ Among the film’s many producers is Nicolas Cage. How he managed to dodge the bullet of starring in it is anybody’s guess.’’    The Hollywood reporter

‘’’A Thousand Words’  is not worth any more dismissive words.   Associated Press

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