Directed By: Craig Brewer
Written By: Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski
Cinematography: Eric Steelberg
Editor: Billy Fox
Costume Design: Ruth E. Carter
Cast: Eddie Murphy, Snoop Dogg, Craig Robinson, Wesley Snipes, Keegan Michael Key, Mike Epps, Tituss Burgess, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Kodi-Smitt McPhee, Ron Cephas Jones, Chris Rock, Barry Shabaka Henley, Tip T.I. Harris, Leunell, Tasha Smith
Eddie Murphy portrays real-life legend Rudy Ray Moore, a comedy and rap pioneer who proved naysayers wrong when his hilarious, obscene, kung-fu fighting alter ego, Dolemite, became a 1970s Blaxploitation phenomenon.
This ends up not exactly being a biography but a film that shows a certain time in a person’s Life in which their actions are what they will be remembered for. It is it’s Own biography of the character of Dolemite. Not to mention how he became immortalized on the big screen.
It’s based on Rudy Ray Moore and you can see it as the mild mannered alter-ego to the superhero who is Dolemite. As we watch him try them and again to get his career started as a singer at first then as a comedian, until he finds confidence through the role of Dolemite a tough talking man who has a story about how tough he is and of his adventures comedically.
It’s a making of and history of a cult classic and the man who made it happen.
The movie is good but Eddie Murphy shines above the material as he shows his range and is as usual engaging and charming but stays in the character to seem not so much like himself but also gets to make a mark with the role. He is not the only cast member to end up being memorable Da’Vine Joy Randolph as Lady Reed is a heartbreaker as a woman he helps to find her talent and become notable, but most of all giving Her hope to believe in herself and seems to be one of the few people to have faith in her.
What makes this film more universal to audiences might be that the screenwriters Larry Karaszewski and Scott Alexander usually write biographical films. This is no different as it also lines up with what their screenplays have in common: the tale of an individual an outsider who finds others like themselves and achieve some kind of fame and fortune.
Here it is how they all come together to make a movie. You can root for as they go through a comedy of errors to make this film where Rudy risks everything for.
Even with a director who doesn’t believe in the material and feels it is beneath him and is an alcoholic. Played brilliantly by Wesley Snipes who reminds us he should be working more. A crew of newbies and questionable production design and funding.
The film is the representation of a community at a certain time, but also a tale that shows it’s never too late to achieve the things you want and to keep going for your dreams. As Long as you are willing to work for it. And you can always reinvent yourself, take a chance on yourself more often and others where you see skill and talent. As you never know who you will inspire.
The film while it might lack in dramatic depth at times, it is a fun and good time. With a recognizable cast and some surprising cameos. Though it never quite feels like it has depth. Though it can only go by the details that happened. So that it relies on the comedic more times then not.
The film also has beautiful outfits that are time period specific but also work of arts themselves. designed by Oscar winner costume designer Ruth E. Carter.
Even if it wasn’t based on a true story it is an inspired comedy that allows the characters a certain pride and dignity. As well as being inspirational when it comes to self belief and filmmaking by example.