Review: A Thousand Words (2012)

Whatever happened to the actor who played in Beverly Hills Cops or Trading Places or, hell, even Coming to America? It appears, over the years, Eddie Murphy has become another dime-a-dozen actor and is content with it. Just like Nicholas Cage or Adam Sandler. Shame. Money trumps quality, I s’ppose.

A thousand words are 998 too many for what I have to say about this movie: not funny. The movie is about a literary agent, Jack McCall (Eddie Murphy) who lies his way through closing a book deal with a guru, Dr. Sinja (Cliff Curtis). The next day, a bodhi tree grows on his patio and it seems every time Jack says something, leafs fall off the tree; one word, one leaf. When the last leaf falls, Jack will die.

A typical one-man’s-journey movie, really: from the busy, never home, hotshot agent to family man.

I may have been too harsh in my earlier assessment, as the movie does make you laugh a couple of times, but I have to say the comic relief, for me, came in the form of McCall’s assistant, Aaron Wiseberger (Clark Duke). You might remember the actor from his role in the tv show Greek. His part and his lines were genuinely funny for me, even though they did fit a pattern, a stereotype.

It’s like the movie doesn’t know what to be at times: funny or serious and dramatic. I know it’s supposed to be a comedy/drama film, but it seems like the mash-up is forced and the end result not interesting. The message is lost in already over-used jokes and scenes where Eddie Murphy has to put on the most ridiculous faces and grimaces.

It would be a lie to say Murphy’s a bad actor, because he’s not. Leaving aside his choice of parts in movies which yes, are bad, he did put out a good performance, but only in the last 10 minutes or so, the more “serious” part of the movie.

It’s not even worth mentioning the rest of the cast, as they had really small, not interesting, bland characters. It feels like they were just be there, if that makes sense.

This is not worth watching. The laughs it gets are nearly not enough to warrant watching this or paying for a ticket or renting the DVD, whichever you might choose.

However, I still like Murphy better than Jim Carrey, at least in comedies. There, I said it. Ha!



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