Eye For Film >> Movies >> Pluto Nash (2002) Film Review
Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray
Eddie Murphy goes to the moon. After sitting through Pluto Nash, you wish he'd stay there.
The late 21st century moonscape resembles Las Vegas in a bubble and the hoods behave like they've never left straight-to-video. Pluto (Murphy) plays an ex-smuggler who buys a grotty bar in Little America, smartens it up and starts doing good business. Rex Crater, a reclusive casino boss, wants to put his boys in there and so sends a minion (Joe Pantoliano) with a case of "hilaries" - the new currency, named after President Clinton II - to buy the joint.
Pluto tells him to get lost. The minion says: "No one tells Rex Crater to get lost" - or words to that effect. The rest of the movie is Pluto, his new waitress, Dina (Rosario Dawson), and robot Bruno (Randy Quaid), on the run from the bad guys. Because it's the moon and futuristic, there are jet cars and cloned babes and techie gismos, including John Cleese as a hologrammed chauffeur - can the great Python stoop any lower? - to whet the appetite for special effects.
The story is frozen in brain waste. Running over cheesy rocks is no different to running through the back streets of New York. What matters is, who has the gun and why doesn't someone kiss the girl? The clunky jokes lack the lubricant of wit. Quaid wanders about like Frankenstein's monster, with a set of false teeth and a stupid grin on his face, while Dawson has nothing to do but wave her lips around.
Murphy has been here before, in Crud City, but just when you're writing him off as a Late Night Liver who didn't fulfill his potential, he'll do something good and it's all right again. Pluto Nash is so lacking in laughs, it may be harder now. He has the charm and the push-button smile. And he's less of a stud than in the old days. What he lacks, however, is the ability to chose scripts.Reviewed on: 29 Aug 2002