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DAR Films: The 5 Best And 5 Worst Eddie Murphy Films

By @TrueGodImmortal 

For me, Eddie Murphy is my all time favorite comedian. I was young when I watched a few of his already released films on VHS (ah the early 90s), and I found him to be absolutely hilarious. Sure, I was a kid and my humor was different, but as an adult, I still appreciate the comedy that Eddie brought forth. In my later years, I would eventually watch all of his stand up and Saturday Night Live material, and then venture into watching all of his films. Needless to say, since that moment I first watched Coming To America and onward, I've been invested in just about every Eddie Murphy film or move in general. So today, I wanted to take a look back at his top 5 best and his 5 worst films. He has some classics and some true terrible cinema in his entire filmography, so this should be interesting. Let's get into it, starting with the worst of the worst.

The Worst
The sad part is, it's hard choosing just 5 movies to go with. I could pick Dr. Dolittle 2, Imagine That, Best Defense, Another 48 Hrs, and many, many more that Eddie would make over the years. I tried to not include the whole "kids movie" phase of his career, but I think Speed could write an entire WIRTB on his whole 2002-2009 run minus Dreamgirls and Norbit. Regardless, after much deliberation and thought, here are Eddie's 5 worst films, in my opinion.

5. Meet Dave (2008)

-Imagine one day you're in a Hollywood studio, and all of a sudden Eddie Murphy gets a script placed in his hands to star as an alien/robot that's controlled by a number of people within him including a smaller version of Eddie inside the robot. Yeah. No amount of Gabrielle Union being shown or any Kevin Hart cameo could make up for this hilariously terrible film. It really makes you wonder what they were thinking when they wrote this film and what all these black actors were thinking when they accepted the roles. The same could also be said for Ed Helms.

4. Metro (1997)

-First off, Eddie's name in this film is Scott Roper. That's the FIRST issue. Secondly, this movie comes at a time when Eddie had these awkward twists in his hair, and he was very hard to take seriously as a hostage negotiator and inspector. In addition to that, the plot is a bit all over the place. Nothing about this film flows well and aside from a few select moments of hilarity, this movie misses the mark completely. This was the beginning of a long and weird stretch of terrible roles for Eddie minus one or two here and there.

3. Holy Man (1998)

-Either Eddie was doing some strong drugs, or he was lured in by the powers that be to do this trash film. The purpose of this film in a way is seemingly to lowkey position the lead character as some sort of angel or maybe even God in a weird way (all white attire, his name is "G", people believe in him and he inspired them), but it fails miserably at everything it does. First off, Jeff Goldblum doesn't make any film he is in better and considering how bad this one was, we could have used a bit of character in this film overall. Not to mention, could you believe that originally John Candy was set to play this role? Man, this premise is awful and the fact that this film had a 60 million dollar budget speaks volumes to me. Huge volumes.

2. Norbit (2007)

-I knew a number of people who love this film. I am no longer friends with them. I used to be a huge fan of Eddie playing multiple characters in movies, but this is where it stops. This is the damn end. To make matters even worse, this movie ended up as a huge success, grossing 160 million dollars at the box office. Seeing Eddie in a wig, a female fat suit, and makeup as Rasputia just wasn't fun for me. It wasn't funny and despite maybe one or two off laughs, this film is quite possibly the biggest waste of talent I've ever seen. With Thandie Newton, Clifton Powell, Charlie Murphy, Marlon Wayans, Eddie Griffin, Katt Williams, Cuba Gooding, and more in this film, they all could have been utilized for a much better film. It's almost as if Eddie was bored, made a horrible film on purpose and wanted to see how successful it would be. The answer to that is that it was very successful. Unfortunately. Charlie and Eddie need to never work on a story together ever again. Please. Never again.

1. The Adventures of Pluto Nash (2002)

-The WORST. OF. THE WORST. This might be one of the worst films of all time. I remember this came out and even I, one of the biggest fans of Eddie, stopped and said, what the fuck is this shit? I remember I didn't go to see this in the theaters because... well because I had enough sense to know better. Back during the time that Hollywood Video and Blockbuster used to run the world, I remember taking a chance and renting this film. I heard a lot of bad things about the movie, but we all know you can't listen to people and their opinions on these things, so I didn't. I went in and watched this film with an open mind and aside from Rosario Dawson providing a bit of eye candy, there is nothing redeeming about this movie at all. If anything, I'm saddened by the waste of talent and the waste of a terrible plot. The "twist" at the end is horrible and really just bothers me that they thought this made for a good concept. A big "Fuck you" goes to Rex Crater, Pluto Nash, and anyone who thought this movie was a good idea.

The Best
This is equally just as tough as the worst section, which speaks to at least the balance in Eddie's filmography. For all of his terrible choices later in his career, he had some great moves in the early stages of his run and some classic films to boot. There's so many classics to choose from whether we're talking The Nutty Professor, Trading Places, 48 Hrs, or even his animated features like Shrek, Mulan, and such (which don't really count). Not to mention his classic stand up comedy specials like Delirious and Raw. Eddie has some gems in his all time catalog. Let's take a look at his 5 best. This was NOT easy.

5. Beverly Hills Cop (1984)

-While this isn't my favorite of his by far, it has to be included because this was the real first test of Eddie and his ability to draw millions at the box office. There was no truly special supporting cast here, and Eddie still managed to execute perfectly in this film. His role as Axel Foley is one of the most iconic roles in his career, and I think that when we look back at his career, many of us remember him for two things film wise: Coming to America and Beverly Hills Cop. The story and the premise of this movie is pretty average, but the execution of the story and the success of the film (well over 200 million at the box office) is what earns it a spot here. It's the official crowning of Eddie as a king of comedy and film.

4. Harlem Nights (1989)

-A lot of people don't like this movie. It was panned by critics and some people saw it as over the top and poorly paced. You're probably right in that opinion, but there's something about this movie that just does it for me. Maybe it's the fact that this is an Eddie passion project that featured himself alongside two of the greatest comedians ever in Redd Foxx and Richard Pryor. Maybe it's the comedic elements that never get old on a rewatch. Set in 1918 Harlem, this film has the perfect blend of action (comedic action) and though the story isn't the greatest, just the fun of watching all these greats together and some of the funniest moments (Arsenio and his ridiculous scene comes to mind) here are all time classic scenes. This isn't my favorite personally, but I've developed a love for this movie as the years go by. It deserves to be recognized as one of his best.

3. Boomerang (1992)

-If I could put this at no. 1, I just might. However, it is clear what the best Eddie movie is, even if you haven't finished reading this yet. However, this is a personal favorite of mine and one of my all time favorite movies. It's a romantic comedy in a way, but it's also hilariously relatable in execution. Eddie stars as Marcus Graham, a character who is considered by many a "dog". He does what he wants, he sleeps with who he wants, and his emotions aren't necessarily available for women. His friends, played by Martin Lawrence and David Alan Grier, are spectators who are also looking for their own love and women, to less successful results. There's the choice between Robin Givens and Halle Berry in this film, the hilarity of John Witherspoon, the soundtrack that exudes the vibes of pure 90's R&B, and just everything about it that makes it a true classic. Boomerang is honestly one of the greatest romantic comedies ever and the best black romantic comedy. Period.

2. Life (1999)

-Growing up, my two favorite comedians were Eddie and Martin Lawrence. Imagine my excitement to see them in this film together. Oddly enough, this film was seen as a bit of a disappointment commercially, as it only earned about 75 million, not quite making up the 80 million dollar budget that they had spent, but this is a true black comedy classic. Martin and Eddie star as Ray and Claude, two men wrongfully accused of a murder that they didn't commit. The premise of this film to me didn't seem like it would be THAT funny, but with the comedic timing of Martin and Eddie, coupled with a solid supporting cast that kept the jail house scenes hilarious, this film just works all around. This is my favorite Martin film and my 2nd favorite Eddie film and I think it's one of the best comedies I've ever watched. Simply put.

1. Coming To America (1988)

-I mean 1988 could do no wrong. Legends were born that year. Classic albums were released in hip hop. Jordan had his best individual season. Bobby Brown released Don't Be Cruel. New Edition dropped Heartbreak. And Eddie Murphy made his greatest movie and the greatest comedy of all time. Yes, Coming to America is the greatest comedy movie of all time. Eddie stars as Prince Akeem, the prince of the fictional Zamunda, who ventures to the United States to find his wife after rejecting the arranged wedding set in place by his family. With Arsenio Hall as Semmi by his side, Akeem has a little trouble finding his queen. The hilarity in this movie is top notch, and I can watch every barbershop scene in this movie over and over again. Not to mention, Eddie perfected the art of playing multiple characters in a film here. He did it the best I've ever seen anyone do it and this remains my favorite Eddie movie and performance. Plus, who could ever front on Randy Watson, the greatest singer in a movie ever, and the only man to go from Joe The Policeman on an episode of "That's My Mama" to an instant legend. Coming To America literally has nothing but iconic scene after iconic scene throughout the whole thing. It's really amazing to watch. This is the best Eddie Murphy film and it is NOT debatable. Least not with me.


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