Whether it be his one of a kind laugh, or his giant grin, who can honestly say they hate Eddie Murphy? He’s done so much for not just black cinema but cinema as a whole. But with such a burden came a huge responsibility to keep that integrity alive. Something that Eddie Murphy absolutely has betrayed in every way. This might be one of the most tragic tales in all of Hollywood to a living star. Before getting into my list, let me just say how much I truly hate that there will be a generation of people who only knows Eddie Murphy as Donkey from Shrek. On top of that, when you see him perform in a movie like Dreamgirls, YOU SEE HOW PHENOMENAL AN ACTOR HE IS!!! SO WHY DOES HE DEMEAN HIMSELF WITH SUCH SHIT ROLES?!?!?!?!?! Ok…. Sorry, but this has to be one of the biggest enigmas in movie history…. With that said, on to the list.
5. The Nutty Professor
Based on the 1966 Jerry Lewis remake by the same name, Eddie Murphy would play multiple characters to tell the story of Sherman Klump, an over weight, genius professor who while combating his battle of the bulge, was also trying to win the eye of one Miss Purty (played by Jada Pinkett Smith). Sherman eventually creates a formula to transform him into a skinny person and thus, his skinny alter ego, Buddy Love, enters the picture to cause havoc to Sherman’s life. Hilarity ensues.
This was the first movie I can recall going to see multiple times in theaters (3 if I remember correctly). This film was so enjoyable, especially figuring out that Eddie Murphy is essentially carrying the ENTIRE MOVIE by himself. It’s a heartfelt love story full of quoteables and memorable sequences. It also gave a lot of attention to early comedian, Dave Chappelle (who has Eddie as one of his comedy idols).
Now, I’m not stupid enough not to give credit to his performance as Donkey which really breathed new life to his career. I’ve only seen the first two films (refusing to see the 3rd and being really meh about the last one) and they are great performances done by both Eddie and Mike Myers. These were great alternative films to Pixar movies from a struggling Dreamworks animation studio. That is, until they decided to keep going past 2. Donkey is definitely one of his most memorable/timeless roles. Respect has to be paid to such an accomplishment. Like I mentioned earlier, it just sucks that THIS will be the role he’s most remembered for.
3. Coming To America
An all-star cast jam packed into an amazing film. This 1988 classic will feature Eddie Murphy (as well as Arsenio Hall) pose as multiple characters for the first time on screen. A feat will perform multiple times through his career. This movie is also chalk full of quoteables (They have the Golden Arches…..I’ve got the Golden Arcs….LET YOUR SOUL GLOWWWWW!!!! She’s your queen to be!!!!!) and there is no one in this movie that did a bad job. That fact in itself is amazing. The movie also makes a shout out to one of Eddie’s other films in Trading Places when he gives money to the Dukes who are homeless and on the street (sigh, hobos….).
I had such a hard time with these last two. I waited right before publishing to finalize the final 2 but I gave my 2 spot to Life. Martin Lawrence did a great job with Eddie playing off of each other. This is usually so easy for Eddie to do with other black actors and he pulled it off again.
1. Beverly Hills Cop (I & II(III doesn’t exist))
If there was any other role besides Donkey that Eddie would be remembered for, it’s Detroit Police Detective, Axel Foley. This was one of the first big commercial success movies to feature the streetwise cop, who is no nonsense, and doesn’t follow the rules (Chris Tucker would make a fortune off of this almost a decade later). The only question I ever had about the BHC franchise was this: Axel is from Detroit…..W(hy)TF is always in LA solving crimes? Is there not enough crime in Detroit to take care of???? But why doesn’t 3 exist on this list? Oh, you’ll see why in a few minutes.
After all the praise of the first part of this blog, it’s time to look at the dark side to Eddie’s career…. His 5 Worst Movies Ever. There truthfully is no race between 5-2, 1 wins this thing BY A MILE.
5. Holy Man
We should’ve seen this downward plunge in his career coming…but…but…. HOLY MAN?! Metro was seemingly his first really big failure, but I mean at least in Metro you sort of related his character to Axel. This..this abomination, there was no rhyme or reason for it….it was…just terrible….
4. Beverly Hills Cop 3
Yep, BHC III definitely is in the Worst list. There are several reasons why that I will outline here:
There are a couple of instant no-no’s to have in a sequel that if are added, you start off with a foot in the grave.
1. Not being able to secure original cast members and then giving stupid excuses as to why they’re absent (BHC III check mark)
2. Having to add different plot devices to the character to just make the movies stretch out a bit more (Ex.:In every Rocky movie after 1, a character had to die (or be near death) in order to have Rocky continuously fight)
3. The sequel has little or nothing to do with its predecessor(s) (BHC III check mark)
4. Kids….If your movie needs to have kids added into it…ABORT MISSION. GTFO while you still can. (BHC III check mark)
#4 doesn’t pertain to just sequels, it’s very much all movies in general. There are more sequel rule deal breakers but I just wanted to throw a couple of them in to prove my point.
This was the first sign that maybe Eddie wasn’t capable of a hit every time. But we just saw it as a blip on the radar. All great actors have one bad film in their repertoire. If we only knew what would follow.
You mean to tell me there’s a movie out there that puts Robert De Niro AND Eddie Murphy? It was great, right? No…no it wasn’t. Which is really disappointing since because of this movie, they will be staying as far away from each other as humanely possible.
The same premise as #3 sits with this one too. Only difference is, they’re both iconic comedians!! How did this movie suck so badly???? *Sigh*…..And finally
Top 5 Coonish movies of all time. Without debate. This movie really should’ve killed Eddie Murphy’s career. Somehow he still walks around LA and people don’t throw bricks at him. This movie has no competition. HIS WORST MOVIE EVER! If you’ve never seen this movie, DON’T! Do you trust me? I promise I’ll never lead you guys astray. DO NOT SEE THIS MOVIE. End of story.
At the end of the day I wrote this to say…we need to give Eddie some help. We need to reach out and stop him from picking these God awful movies. Like I referenced with Dreamgirls earlier, Eddie has shown time and time again, that he can act really well but he wastes his talents over and over again. I just hope we don’t EVER see anything like Norbit again….. One can only dream…
-The Big Socrates