Imagine That

Imagine That

**

Reviewed by: Leanne McGrath

Eddie Murphy aims to repeat the success of Dr Dolittle and Daddy Day Care with yet another kiddie-friendly family comedy - but this fantasy flick is mildy amusing rather than laugh-out-loud hilarious.

Imagine That is the latest in a long line of movies about workaholic dads who bond with their neglected kids.

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Murphy is financial executive Evan Danielson, whose money-making streak has hit a major slump. The last thing he needs is his estranged wife forcing their daughter on him - but he quickly changes his tune when little Olivia’s (Yara Shahidi) imaginary pals start giving profitable investment advice.

But the tips come at a price - and she makes dad earn them by spending time with her, generally making a huge fool of himself.

Murphy is unusually understated during his comic turns - the usual silly voices and wacky dances - and there is little of the slapstick you expect from the normally manic star. There is plenty of toilet humour for the kids but adults will struggle to raise a smile.

Olivia’s imaginary pals are invisible rather than created using CGI or animatronics so there is little visual stimulation, meaning Imagine That can’t compete with summer’s special effects-heavy blockbusters.

The moral of work and family is clear and has been seen before. Yet again, they fall back on the tired old plot of a clash between a big business meeting and an event his kid is in. Which will he attend? Like we don’t know. Or care.

This cautionary tale of bad parenting is perfect timing in the US for Father’s Day but do yourself and favour and wait for the dvd.

Reviewed on: 13 Jun 2009
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Imagine That packshot
A struggling executive gets some help from his daughter's imaginary world.
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