It's not that he's clumsy, shy or dressed for disco that makes Dave Ming Chang stand out from everyone else in New York City. It's that he's an alien! More accurately, he's an alien spaceship on a mission to Earth to save his home planet. Torn between the voices in his head - a tiny alien crew led by a high-strung, miniature version of himself - and the world around him, Dave struggles to appear normal. But when he falls for an Earth woman, the consequences are hilarious.
You must admit that the movie tagline is quite funny: Eddie Murphy in Eddie Murphy in Meet Dave. A small Eddie Murphy physically inside a bigger Eddie Murphy starring in a movie named Meet Dave – get it? You want this to be a really funny movie which can cheer you up on a rainy and depressing weekend, but you remember that this is Eddie Murphy. The Nutty Professor, Dr. Dolittle, The Adventures of Pluto Nash, Norbit – what does it matter anymore? So, before we popped this DVD into the player, we did not have much expectation to enjoy this. At all.
First, you do not expect much sensibility in an Eddie Murphy movie. Here, we have a space ship shaped like a human (Eddie Murphy, who else?) landing on Earth. It is driven by a crew of miniature, bright and impassive beings led by someone looking like, surprise surprise, Eddie Murphy. Apparently, they are here to save Earth from destruction. During their stay here, the ship’s crew experiences what it is like to feel emotions like a human being, and of course, have episodes with human beings which eventually lead to, surprise surprise, love.
Sounds interesting? Frankly speaking, we were quite amused with the clever sounding plot. But two words reminded us to leave all expectations at the door: Eddie Murphy. True enough, Murphy proved to be quite an annoyance to watch within the movie’s first 30 minutes. You see the Oscar nominated actor pulling prank after prank, being the typical comedian which just won’t get out of your face despite your disapproving look. So yes, you have to sit through 90 entire minutes of it to find out whether Earth will be saved by Eddie Murphy.
To be fair, there were some chuckle worthy moments, like how the space ship’s interiors of the mouth are driven by the miniature crew, and how the main crew’s every little movement affected how the space ship was navigated. But all in all, there is nothing refreshing about this comedy.
Which is why, we feel a little sad for supporting cast like Elizabeth Banks (Zack and Miri Make a Porno), Gabrielle Union (Running with Scissors) and Scott Caan (Ocean’s Thirteen). These people try to make their screen performance memorable, but we just cannot take them seriously. When you star in a screwball comedy which is potentially a critic’s panning favourite, it is very difficult for you to shine. And they should have known – this movie earned two (they should be thankful for that) Razzie nominations. But Murphy takes the responsibility, because the nominations are for Worse Actor and Worst Screen Couple – Eddie Murphy in Eddie Murphy. Oops, and we thought that was funny.
SPECIAL FEATURES :
Surprisingly, this Code 3 DVD contains quite a bit of bonus features, and we really do not know whether a movie like this warrants it. First up, there is a three minute Gag Reel which sees actors goofing up in front of the camera – quite amusing if you are in the mood for jokes. There are four Deleted Scenes, none of which would have made much of a difference to the movie if they included. The Alternate Ending has Bank’s kid spouting an intelligent line “The most powerful force in the universe often comes from the smallest star” – yah sure. The Making of Meet Dave is a 22 minute featurette which chronicles how the movie began as a concept, and how it was finally translated on screen. At least someone admitted that this is a “silly sci fi movie”. Crew Confessions is a seven minute clip which has the different actors playing the crew telling you what their duties are on the ship.
The special features do not stop here. There is a section presented by Fox Movie Channel. Life After Film School with Director Brian Robbins is a 29 minute episode where the filmmaker interacts with three film students and tells them what kind of a career they have ahead of them. In the 10 minute Making a Scene, we see how the special effects of big and small Eddie Murphys are put together. There is also a five minute clip which sees what happens on the red carpet of the World Premiere. We’d tell you, not much, really. There is also a weblink to www.foxinternational.com for you to check out more Fox releases online.
The disc’s visual transfer is clear, while there are 5.1 Dolby English, Spanish, Portuguese and Thai audio tracks to choose from.
by John Li