Movies You Aught Not Watch is Nick Rogers’ weekly, alphabetical look back at the 52 worst films of 2000 to 2009.
When Eddie Murphy flashed his mega-watt smile and bristled with daringly risqué racial-identity energy in 48 Hrs., he probably never thought he’d willingly star in something as boring and unnecessary as 2002’s The Adventures of Pluto Nash.
Or Holy Man. Or Vampire in Brooklyn. Or Metro. Or Showtime. Or Norbit. Good God, has there ever been a superstar whose slide into lazy mediocrity was more torturous to behold?
Pluto Nash casts Murphy as a hotshot ex-con who runs the biggest nightclub in Little America — a city on the moon circa the late 21st century. After Nash rejects a buyout from Rex Crater — an enigmatic entrepreneur wanting to open numerous casinos — he’s marked for death, and his long boring chase of Crater continually picks up supporting actors who needed to pay for decks, game rooms or alimony.
Pluto Nash is set in 2087 — or approximately 100 years after writer Neil Cuthbert last bothered to touch up his script. Murphy did zero publicity for the film, whose two-year delay was explained away by “complex visual effects.” Please check eBay listings for a bridge to buy if you find these visual effects even remotely complex.
Admittedly, watching Randy Quaid (as Nash’s robot bodyguard) whip out two hand cannons a la John Woo achieves priceless strangeness. And Alec Baldwin, in a cameo, shows he was able to laugh at himself long before 30 Rock. But his 30-second bit isn’t worth the trouble. Neither is a strangely apropos scene in which Murphy strangles himself.