Who’s brilliant idea was it to have a whole film where Eddie Murphy can’t talk?!?
When he learns that his karma will permit him to speak just a thousand more words before he dies, fast-talking agent Jack (Eddie Murphy) must make every syllable count to make peace with his wife, Caroline (Kerry Washington), and his celebrity author client, Dr. Sinja (Cliff Curtis). But can the man notorious for his idle flattery truly change his ways?
So after sitting on the shelf for over 4 years, I went into this flick expecting nothing but pure and utter crap. I mean with the director of such other Eddie classics like ‘Meet Dave’ and ‘Norbit’, how could one expect anything different?
The premise we have here is one of those high-concept premises where we see an ass of a dude, get flung into a situation that makes him re-think his life and do better for ones around him. That concept does not change here and everything is basically by-the-numbers, which wouldn’t have been so bad if everything weren’t so damn unfunny. I mean I had a chuckle or two but the rest of the film tries so hard to make constant jokes that either don’t hit the mark, or just come off as awkward. The jokes actually seem out-dated (even for a flick that was made in 2008) and sometimes it honestly just seems like the writers are recycling material from past comedies that are in the same air as this (‘Click’, ‘Bruce Almighty’). Basically, this film is not funny in the least bit and is what you would expect from an Eddie comedy of this nature.
Obviously this film goes into some pretty schmaltzy and sympathetic territory but it’s not what you would usually get with these types of comedies because even though all comedies seem to go in this direction and create some life lesson for their protagonist, this film really nails that in. By the last act, the score starts to swoon and there is just constant scene after constant scene where they practically show this guy breaking down and crying to everyone around him telling them how much he loves them and will do right. It’s downright cheesy and is a little too over-dramatic for a “comedy” flick like this, even by its own standards.
What was also pretty weird about this flick too is the audience that it doesn’t really seem to have an audience that it’s reaching out towards which makes a lot more sense for it to be delayed for so long. There’s barely any kiddie stuff in here whatsoever, they say the word “shit” about 20 times also not forgetting the one F-bomb I think heard as well, and on top of that, it’s rated PG-13. It’s definitely not the type of movies that are centered toward the family audience that Murphy has been aiming towards lately, but it’s also not nearly as edgy or dangerous as his older material neither. In a nutshell, this is just a weird film to market considering there is no audience for this flick and that probably makes it a good reason as to why it was number 6 at the box office for the weekend.
As for Eddie Murphy himself, his performance here as Jack is one of his usual hammy, by-the-numbers, and lazy performances that we didn’t think we were going to see much more of ever since ‘Tower Heist’, but sadly, it’s all back. I don’t know why the film decided to have him in a premise where he doesn’t get to talk and use that hilarious voice we all know and love him for, but it’s also no help that his shtick gets old real quick considering he isn’t very known for his physical stuff. It’s a shame because this guy really was one of those comedians that people were afraid of because of how dangerous he could be but now he just does family-oriented junk like this and really starts to lose cred from the very few fans that still think he’s funny. Yes, I am one of them so eff you guys.
As for everybody else, I have no idea why the hell they even decided to even be in this flick and I don’t think they do either when they think about it. Clark Duke is the only funny thing about this flick but also looks embarrassed to be apart of every scene here as Jack’s assistant/little white bitch; Kerry Washington is beautiful and elegant but is given nothing extraordinary here as Jack’s clueless wife and it’s a shame considering she is great actress and is definitely on the high rise; and Ruby Dee has probably one good moment as Jack’s mom, who is starting to lose her mind, and she’s good but is definitely wasted here and could have been used for a far better flick.
Consensus: A Thousand Words is not funny, predictable, and one of those shelved comedies that should have stayed right where it was and released as straight-to-dvd flick, rather than actually making people go out there and have to pay 10 bucks for it. However, that’s why I snuck in. Teehee