Title – Dolemite is My Name (2019)
Director – Craig Brewer (Hustle and Flow)
Cast – Eddie Murphy, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Keegan-Michael Key, Mike Epps, Craig Robinson, Kodi Smit-McPhee, T.I, Snoop Dogg
Plot – The true story of Rudy Ray Moore aka Dolemite (Murphy) and rise to fame in the 1970’s as the godfather of rap and comedy mastermind that included a series of hit Blaxploitation films.
“Luck is where opportunity meets preparation”
Review by Eddie on 04/11/2019
A Thousand Words, Tower Heist, Imagine That, Meet Dave, dare we even say their names….Norbit and Pluto Nash, there’s been good reason since the turning of the century to suspect that the Eddie Murphy we grew to love was gone forever but seemingly out of the blue comes Netflix’s Dolemite is My Name, a feverishly fun film that most importantly heralds in the return of Murphy to what is hopefully a genuine career revival.
Filled with the energy and wild boy charisma that made him one of the biggest stars in the world and a deserved comedic icon, Murphy shines in Hustle and Flow and Black Snake Moan director Craig Brewer’s biopic of African American comedy legend and rap pioneer Rudy Ray Moore, a real life figure that helped inspire and pave the way for those like Murphy who grew up as fans of the smack-talking loud mouth alter-ego of Moore, Dolemite.
Finding fame during the 1970s Blaxploitation era of American culture, Moore against all the odds created a name for himself in a world that had previously shown very little interest in his career ambitions and Murphy and Brewer take a smile inducing approach to Moore’s adventures to reach the big time and make it in Hollywood, in what becomes a film akin to a ghetto infused Disaster Artist as Moore and his merry entourage of amateur hanger-on’s set about to make the first of what would become many Dolemite focused feature films.
Painting Moore as a likeable and unflustered character, determined to be the man he wants to be no matter the cost, Brewer and Murphy create a lovingly staged tribute of one of their heroes that allows Murphy to wind back the clock and become the 80’s and 90’s Eddie Murphy that we came to love in the first place.
Front and centre to most of the film, Murphy is arguably the best his ever been as Moore and while the film doesn’t exactly break new ground in the way in which it transpires, Dolemite’s faithful recreation of the time period filled with colourful costumes, lovingly created sets and a killer soundtrack make the story of Moore’s rise up the ranks an endlessly enjoyable experience.
Helping out Brewer and Murphy with this quality experience are some fantastic supporting additions to the film’s loaded cast, that while filled with notable additions like Keegan-Michael Key, Mike Epps, Craig Robinson and Snoop Dogg is bought to life by some downright brilliant supporting turns from Da’Vine Joy Randolph as Moore’s protégé Lady Reed and a scene stealing Wesley Snipes as the pretentious Hollywood actor/director D’Urville, who much like Murphy revives a seemingly stagnated career in this film.
Final Say –
Filmed with a joy and sense of fun that isn’t often found in such biopics, Dolemite is My Name can sit proudly alongside Ed Wood and The Disaster Artist as one of the top films made about making movies and their creators and revives the career of Murphy along the way.
4 elevator boys from Rosemary’s Baby out of 5