Movies

Can 'Imagine That' Hit Every Sweet Spot Of Unwatchability?

Update: I originally blamed Disney for this movie; my mind was completely playing tricks on me based on a trailer I had just watched, and it's actually Paramount. Apologies.

I am not here to tell you that Imagine That is bad, because I haven't seen it. But whoever is promoting it isn't doing it any favors. It has a serious case of Trailer Unwatchability.

It appears that the premise is that Eddie Murphy is a boring dad who works as some kind of insignificant cog in a giant corporate machine, and he discovers that his daughter's imagination can make him better at his job, because his daughter's imaginary companions are passing on information about upcoming mergers.

Okay. Let us pause for a moment.

Pardon the overused construction, but: Worst imaginary companions ever. Princesses and fairies are there to make your life more fun, not facilitate insider trading. What kind of an imaginary princess suckers a kid into passing along subliminal messages through her drawings in order to further her father's career?

I hope these imaginary companions have malpractice insurance. I would happily watch a movie called I Sued My Imaginary Friend For Breach Of Fiduciary Duty. That would be a movie, people.

But no. This just looks so...terrible, from top to bottom.

Clearly, this is Ingratiatingly Hammy Eddie Murphy, who is never as much fun as Obnoxiously Hammy Eddie Murphy (as in 48 Hrs.). And the very talented Thomas Haden Church is playing someone named Whitefeather, who is what Entertainment Weekly's Owen Gleiberman describes as a "corporatized Native American who talks about finance in fake-Indian gobbledygook." (Get it? WHITEFEATHER? Stay classy, Paramount.)

To keep the disappointments coming, the movie features Vanessa Williams. No, not the really awesome Vanessa Williams. The other one. The one who was on Melrose Place.

Consider this fact: One of the more positive reviews of the movie I've seen comes from Joe Leydon of Variety, who calls it "arguably the most innocuous pic of Eddie Murphy's career to date." I want to see that on a poster. I want to see the one-sheet with the giant-print blurb that says, "ARGUABLY INNOCUOUS! —

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.