What to eat while watching: Dieting may be wise, especially in
winter when people often put on weight.
If you saw the original Nutty Professor, I mean the one with old Jerry Lewis, you may marvel at how far this saga has come from its origins. As a symbol of our technological advancement, mere chemistry is replaced by genetic bioengineering. We've progressed beyond the grotesque mugging of Lewis and moved onto the much more grotesque mugging of Eddie Murphy. The story has evolved from a dippy device that allows one actor to play two contrasting roles to a dippy device that allows one actor to play about nine different roles. So let me revise my thesis: Not much has changed at all; and though I do indeed find Murphy downright amusing compared to the now-corny Lewis, there is little to recommend this film to anyone with a taste for quality.
A quick analogy should allow those who will appreciate this film to stop reading here and by all means enjoy. Some people never taste any beer but Bud, Coors, and Miller Lite. These people enjoy sipping any one of these: it makes them feel mildly full, refreshed, and a little "loose." Others have sampled Sierra Nevada, Guinness, Red Hook, Newcastle, and various carefully crafted lambic ales, stouts, porters, and pales. Very few who sample quality beer ever can return full-heartedly to macrobrews. Bud just doesn't satisfy anymore.
If you're fine with the beer that made St. Louis great, then you are welcome to drink as much of it as you'd like. I will gladly fill my mug with a Downtown Brown and quaff right along side you.
In the same way, I can fully dig any who adore Eddie, who find his humor ever refreshing and his style utterly engrossing. I am also willing to concede that this film is technically brilliant to those who watch films only for technical brilliance.
And now, I shall turn to my perspective on this film, having made the preceding clarification (that applies to all my reviews heretofore and henceforth).
This movie is flatus. It's empty air that smells. At the same time, it is a standard byproduct of the human, Eddie Murphy's, body. No different from most of his other gas. Like Dr. Doolittle, Raw, and others that I can't seem to remember right now, this has your standard mix of little kids and old ladies doing foul things, men and women obsessing over human sexuality, and a pop hit by Janet Jackson to wrap it all up. (Who told her how to pronounce "baby"?)
Side note that not all of Murphy's films have been complete wastes: the man is prolific enough to have participated in many good, fun movies. I still like Trading Places and I thought Bowfinger and Holy Man were decent if un-astonishing.
Klumps, though is really not meant for the pantheon. It's basically a camera trick, but the novelty wears off long before the story is over, and the story, in turn, runs out of steam almost before it begins.
In a nutshell, and that truly is a good fit, Klumps II, shows Herman Klump inventing a youth formula in an effort to destroy his alter ego, Buddy Love. He is going to be married to Jackson, so he wants to be himself without interference from now on. Let's keep stretching our credibility. Herman's family gets ahold of the potion and it causes various ruckuses. Pack this into 90 minutes of slapstick comedy, and it's a done deal.
The "making of" segment that followed was a nice bit of lining: showing how they filmed Murphy in all of his simultaneous guises. It's actually more interesting as a technical feat than anything else, so this glimpse into Hollywood magic was a welcome postlude and a merciful ten minutes.
Enjoy! (Plllbbt!) Oh, excuse me.
©1999 by Randy Shandis Enterprises. All rights happily reserved.