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Laramie Movie Scope:
The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps

Eddie Murphy loses self among characters

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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July 28, 2000 -- How many characters can Eddie Murphy play in one movie? He plays six in the sequel to his popular "Nutty Professor" movie, but none of them seems to have the warmth of the characters he played in that first movie.

In the first film, Murphy played Sherman Klump, a brilliant scientist trapped in a fat body. He named his thin alter ego Buddy Love (also played by Murphy). In this film Buddy Love has come to represent the darker side of his own personality. Sherman is able to isolate a genetic abnormality in his own DNA which is the Buddy Love factor and he extracts it from his body.

The resulting Sherman Klump is more pleasant, but less intelligent. He has to figure out a way to get the Buddy Love genes back into his own DNA sequence before he becomes a total moron (which would put him on an equal intellectual level with most of the rest of the characters). Klump fails to tell his bride-to-be Denise Gains (played by Janet Jackson of "Poetic Justice") about this little problem, or any of his family members. Only his trusted lab assistant knows.

The family members, Mama Klump, Papa Klump, Ernie Klump and Grandma Klump are all played by Murphy. There's also a sub-plot about Papa Klump losing his job and his sexual potency. The sub-plots don't go anywhere and the main plot barely moves either. They don't seem to engage the actors either. It is all kind of like running on a treadmill. There's lots of activity, but it leads nowhere.

There are some funny scenes, such as Klump's disastrous first dinner with his future in-laws. The attack of the giant hamster is also one which will no doubt find its niche in movie lore as one of the classics of low-brow movie humor, along with a half-dog, half-man character using a newspaper in a public restroom and a funny send-up of "Armageddon." The funny bits are too few and far between to help out the film, however. The big problem with the film is that there is just no point to it. The film lacks direction, focus, coherence, in short, it fails to establish any characters worth following, or a compelling story line.

Despite its failings, Janet Jackson looks great in the film and Murphy disappears into his many characters. Director Peter Segal ("My Fellow Americans" and "Tommy Boy") fails to match the charm and humanity of the first film, even though writers Steve Oedekerk ("Ace Ventura" and "Nutty Professor") and Barry W. Blaustein ("Nutty Professor" and "Boomerang") have written successfully for Murphy before. This film rates a D.

Click here for links to places to buy this movie in video and/or DVD format, the soundtrack, books, even used videos, games and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Copyright © 2000 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)