Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The Adventures of Pluto Nash


Dir: Ron Underwood (City Slickers)

Dare I say it? Not as bad as I was lead to believe Eddie Murphy science fiction vehicle. Now, I'm not saying Pluto Nash is a good film, far from it. But I was expecting something to rival Battlefield: Earth in the badness category. The film's reputation comes from its box office (100 million to produce, 4.4 million US box office) and its infamous stint sitting on the studio shelf. But there are worse movies made very year in Hollywood, with just as many big time actors.

The faults do shine through, however. The script is obvious and leaden. The plot is pointless (I know, lets do a futuristic movie, but the plot will be the most formulaic mob story line we can think of). You could have done the same story in Tokyo or New York or Des Moines or Mars. And the twist at the end, incorporating cloning, is so laughably wrong on the science and behind the times on our understanding of that procedure that many people should have been fired for it. Pluto Nash actually goes to the old "which one is the good Eddie Murphy, I can't tell. Shoot him . . . No, shoot him!" well but without a trace of the irony that has made that device continually popular. This thing is hopeless as a story that it should by all rights have never been made.

And yet, Pluto Nash has redemptive elements. The set design reflects the budget, and it at least provides some interesting details and very slightly creative elements. I have always been a sucker for Murphy as an actor, and his screen presence is not objectionable. Rosario Dawson is actually not too bad (and beautiful). But Randy Quaid has a bad character and makes it worse, playing a robot like I did when I was six. And someone please stop giving Jay Mohr acting roles, please.

Actually, Pluto Nash fails on all accounts. It is a bad movie, but it is also not so bad that it is a fun movie. Its place in the honor roll of terrible films is underserved; that list should be for bad movies that are worth watching. This is just a regular bad movie, deserving a place with your average Cube Gooding Jr or Sharon Stone film.



Blogger ronvon2 noted on 9/06/2006 11:18:00 PM that...

What, pray tell, were the arguments that ran through your mind that lead to the conclusion that you must watch Pluto Nash? There is only one Battlefield Earth.

2 hours of viewing time + 15 minutes of blogging time = lifetime of shame.

Shame, that reminds me of a Bergman film you once extolled. Ingmar weeps for you.  

Blogger Paul Johnson noted on 9/07/2006 03:58:00 PM that...

Ron the flip flopper!

He was against Bergman before he was for him!  

Blogger paroske noted on 9/07/2006 07:41:00 PM that...

Ron Underwood is a directorial force that must be appreciated.

Ron Von Burg is a Bergman hating force that must be vanquished.


Blogger ronvon2 noted on 9/08/2006 08:13:00 AM that...

Your first statment clearly undercuts your credibility to make the second.