Meet Dave Reviews
This movie was directed by Brian Robbins, who has more producer credits to his name than he does director credits. After 'Meet Dave' he directed a couple tv episodes and 2012's 'A Thousand Words', also featuring Eddie Murphy. With both 'Meet Dave' and 'A Thousand Words' failing to impress audiences, mr. Robbins called it quits in 2012 as a director. I'm worried he would have reached new 'Norbit'-like depths had he decided to continue.
On to the next one: writer Rob Greenberg. He was known for writing such hits as 'Harry's Girl', 'Spellbound' and 'Bad Haircut', a bunch of TV movies from the early 2000's. Don't bother looking them up, you won't find much. After 'Meet Dave' his most notable creation was a short-lived TV series called 'We Are Men' with the following plot: "A young guy finds camaraderie living among the more experienced guys he meets in a short-term rental complex." Ahem. Yeah, add a few tv-directorial credits to the resume and you've arrived in 2015.
Should I continue after these two?
I feel bad ripping on the movie's lead actor, Eddie Murphy. His career has been in the gutter after he voiced the tiny Chinese dragon Mushu in the Disney hit 'Mulan', only to get some kind of success with Shrek. But this is no 'Coming To America' or 'Trading Places'. Hell, it's not even 'Metro'. Here, as 'Dave', he has his moments, but they are few and far between. I much prefer it when he writes his own material (except 'Norbit'), but his standup comedy days are in a distant past now.
So what's the problem? I blame it on Murphy's inability to pick decent scripts. Look at his resume since the late 90's: almost all of his films were badly written, directed and ill conceived. And that's where I'm back at the first two people I led to the slaughterhouse: Mr. Robbins and Greenberg.
With all that out of the way, let's talk about the plot here. Dave Ming-Chang (Murphy) is a space ship / vessel controlled by alien miniature humans that has come to earth to retrieve a water-absorbing weapon that had a failed mission to Earth. Still with me? I hope so. Just imagine the production meeting where someone, I suspect Robbins or Greenberg, pitched this plot to reps of Regency Entertainment, the production company. I envision it going something like this:
Exec: "So, you want money from us? For what? What hit did you guys write?"
Robbins / Greenberg: "Dave Ming-Chang is a space ship / vessel controlled by alien miniature humans that has come to earth to retrieve a water-absorbing weapon that had a failed mission to Earth."
Exec: "Wow, that sounds great. It's funny, right?"
Robbins: "Yeah. Eddie is in it. So we're aiming at theatres, not TV."
Exec: "Great, how much?"
Greenberg: "$60,000,000 will do."
Exec" "Deal. Just make sure you double it at the box office. We didn't do too well on Jumper and The Onion Movie."
It probably went something like that.
And well, we all know what happened. The boys got their $60M and Regency got about $11.8M back at the box office. And neither of them was heard from again.
And of story? No. I still had to see this film. 90 minutes of which about 63 seconds in total were worth my time because Mr. Murphy did or said something funny. So you better heed my advice and avoid this in favor of something from Eddie's early days.
I couldn't believe this movie was made as recently as 2008 (though I realize it could have been made earlier and had a delayed release). From what little I could sit through, the acting style was wooden and dated (and I'm not just referring to the Eddie Murphy spaceship). The writing/ direction was a joke...but not a funny one.
Seeing Eddie in something this bad just makes me depressed, but it was also clear that talent such as Elizabeth Banks was utterly wasted here.
(Full review coming soon)