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The Adventures of Pluto Nash Review

By Shawn McKenzie 09/01/2002

Does The Adventures of Pluto Nash, a movie that was shelved for two years, cost $100 million to make, and took in only $ 2.1 million in its first weekend, deserve the scorn it is getting? Not really, but it doesn’t exactly deserve praise either.

The Adventures of Pluto Nash is the story of a club owner named Pluto Nash (Eddie Murphy.) It is 2080 and he is a former successful smuggler who is looking to get into a legitimate business. He finds the opportunity by paying off the debt of Antoni "Tony Francis" Franconi (Jay Mohr), a lounge singer who owns a rundown club on the moon. He takes over ownership of the club and changes the name of it to Club Pluto. Seven years later it is the hottest joint in town, but an unseen mobster named Rex Crater and his right-hand man Belcher (James Rebhorn) want to buy it so they can turn it and the whole neighborhood around it into a giant casino. Crater sends his thugs Morgan (Joe Pantoliano) and Kelp (Victor Varnado) to "persuade" him. When Pluto refuses to sell his club, they blow it up. Pluto then sets out to try to find Crater and, I don’t know, get revenge I guess (or compensation.) He brings along his out-of-date robot bodyguard Bruno (Randy Quaid), a waitress/singer he recently hired named Dina Lake (Rosario Dawson), and for part of the trip, his mother, Flura (Pam Grier.) They deal with all sorts of moon elements on their way to see Crater.

This movie is not that bad, but I am surprised they spent $100 million on it if the script matched the final result. Maybe they thought Murphy’s involvement would be worth the expense, because they figured he would draw in audiences to anything he was in. Two years ago (when this thing was supposedly finished) he was riding high on The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps, so they probably thought it was going to be his next hit. I don’t know what made them hold off releasing it, except for the fact that it is a little dumb, but not the worst thing I’ve ever seen. It’s not even the worst Eddie Murphy movie I’ve ever seen. It’s just not anything spectacular.

One big problem I had with the movie was that I was again mislead by the trailer. I cannot stress upon the importance of a good trailer! The trailer made me think that this movie was just a goofy sci-fi comedy (like Galaxy Quest.) It is a comedy, but it is also a semi-serious action movie (like Murphy’s own Beverly Hills Cop.) Since the trailer doesn’t let you know this fact, I will.

The Adventures of Pluto Nash is not really worth seeing in the theater (unless you are a hardcore Murphy fan), but it’s not the Battlefield Earth of 2002 (at least in my opinion.) Chances are by the time you have read this review it has long left theaters in your area, but it might be worth a couple of bucks at the discount theater or worth a rent, because it is a goofy but most fun little expensive sci-fi/action/comedy. Maybe Eddie Murphy will redeem himself in the minds of his audience in the movie version of the TV show "I-Spy" with Owen Wilson, coming out this fall, but this is a sufficient Murphy fix until then.

Ratings System:


Catch this movie at the theater if you can...

Wait until it comes out on video...

Wait until it plays on HBO, Showtime, Starz, etc...

Demand your money back, even if you saw it for free!

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