Meet Dave (2008)
“Eddie Murphy in Eddie Murphy in Meet Dave”
Director: Brian Robbins
Cast: Eddie Murphy, Elizabeth Banks, Gabrielle Union
Synopsis: A crew of miniature aliens operate a spaceship that has a human form. While trying to save their planet, the aliens encounter a new problem, as their ship becomes smitten with an Earth woman.
Another Eddie Murphy comedy, another flop. Eddie Murphy’s movie career has been spiralling ever downwards since the heady days of the 1980s when it seemed he could do no wrong. He manages to slow the decline every now and then, but only occasionally. One thing’s for sure: Meet Dave isn’t going to do his faltering career any good. To be fair, it isn’t going to cause the kind of damage wrought by the mess that was Norbit, but the fact is it isn’t a particularly good movie given the calibre of performers. If it was a film made by unknowns on a lesser budget it would have been marginally more acceptable, but given the budget and star this won’t do at all.
Murphy plays both the spaceship in human form and its strait-laced captain, despatched to Earth with an equally characterless crew to recover a missing orb and plant it in the sea so that it’s waters (and the salt within them) can be used to save their own planet at the expense of ours. Events follow a demoralisingly predictable path as Dave befriends single mum Elizabeth Banks and her pre-teen son, and comes to realise that the human race is quite a decent little race after all.
Meet Dave draws on Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life to not only elicit audience goodwill but to draw parallels with the central theme of how incredible each of us is, but the parallels with Capra’s classic only serve to emphasise how weak this film is. There are a few mild laughs, and the fact that this is a film aimed primarily at kids is reason enough to cut it a little slack – but only a little: the fact that it’s a kids’ movie doesn’t mean we should automatically accept lower standards – but overall this will be a disappointment for anyone over ten years old.