Netflix’s “Dolemite Is My Name” is just what the soul needs, genuine fun and an uplifting story of realizing one’s dreams. Eddie is back and his portrayal of real life “Dolemite” couldn’t be a better way to showcase the old style Eddie Murphy that made him a comedic movie star in the early 80’s. Could this be the role that earns him an Oscar?
Rudy Ray Moore (Academy Award nominee Eddie Murphy) wants more out of life. He might have made it out of a tiny town and ended up in Hollywood, but he still doesn’t see his name on the marque and he so wants that. Working as a MC at a local comedy club, and yearning for the big time, Rudy comes up with a novel idea that launches him into stardom as he becomes Dolemite (based on a true story).
“Dolemite” has a lot of positives but it’s easiest to focus on the brilliant performance from Eddie Murphy first. His film career took off in 1982 with “48 Hrs” an “R” rated film (due in part to his comedic styling and proliferate use of cuss words). He followed that up with several more “R” rated films and a recurring role on “Saturday Night Live.”
Some years later his film career shifted to almost entirely PG-like films with wide audience appeal and his performances evolved into something different, though still funny. “Dolemite Is My Name” is so much like the kinds of roles and skits from Murphy’s early career that it will resonate with older audiences as well as capture new ones. On screen in “Dolemite” it would be fair to say that Murphy is electrifying at Moore. He’s just about in every scene of the film, yet you never grow bored of the antics, costumes, and jokes as they play perfectly from the skilled actor. So much so, he makes acting look easy.
The Rest of the Cast
Yes, Murphy is a stand out but so is his entire cast. Notably Da’Vine Joy Randolph who plays Rudy’s protege and helped bring a new dynamic to the on-stage Dolemite. She just oozes real life angst balanced with nuance in her portrayal of Lady Reed. Another stand-out was Wesley Snipes. He plays an actor who has already broken into the big leagues (at least in his mind) and agrees to play and direct Dolemite’s first film. Snipes for me, has mostly been in action roles so to see him doing comedy and doing it well was fun to watch. Supporting performances from Keegan-Michael Key, Craig Robinson, Mike Epps, and Tituss Burgess will more than likely combine to earn the film an Oscar nomination for best cast (and probably win).
An excellent story written by team Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski (The People Vs. Larry Flint) that never feels dull nor played out when it comes to respectfully portraying a blaxploitation genre film. One of Murphy’s best acting performances in years. An entire cast that brought their own brand of comedic performance that never felt like one was trying to upstage another. Film will no doubt win many awards. Definitely a good time all around. “Dolemite Is My Name” is in theaters October 4 and on Netflix October 25th.
- Outstanding Comedic Performances
- Excellent Sound Track
- Eddie Murphy at his recent best
- There will be a lot of people dressed as Dolemite for Halloween