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it's goin' down, well at least in theaters this weekend. in the comedy 'norbit', eddie murphy is once again wearing a fat-suit, this time playing the over-sized, self-indulgent, fury-filled rasputia. that is actually the only purpose of this film sadly; giving murphy the excuse to parade around in a fat-suit for another go around. other than that 'norbit' is pointless.
for a film with the main character's name in the title, norbit himself isn't all that interesting. eddie murphy fails to add any real liveliness or hilarity to him which is disappointing. from the half-baked lisp to the whiny persona created he's almost a chore to watch. however, upon viewing the trailer we already know that his wife rasputia, also played by murphy, is the real star of the film. so how was she? well, a little better than norbit. a lot more fun to watch anyways. if this weren't a comedy though it'd be almost impossible not to hate her completely. she's pretty much the ultimate bitch with her overt aggression and extreme arrogance. the worst part about her is the catchphrase she coins and uses over and over in the film: "how you doin'?". it wasn't funny the first time it was said and it wasn't funny any of the thirty-five times after.
i must admit that even with the predictability in the usage of that line there were a couple of things that did shock me a tad. the first being norbit and rasputia have an old woman as a neighbor who owns a little pug named lloyd. (no, that's not the shocking part.) there's an instance in the film where norbit is thrown out of a window and is laying in the front yard. the pug who has been injured purposely by rasputia and is now sporting one of those wheely-deals that help dogs legs heal goes over to norbit and proceeds to lick his face. norbit soon after asks lloyd what is he going to do about rasputia. then it happens, lloyd replies with "kill the bitch." totally out of left field there. maybe it was some odd homage to 'dr. dolittle', i'm really not sure.
the other notable shocker was the score of the film. now this isn't something most people are really even going to pay attention to while watching a film but i do. david newman whose previous work includes the scores for 'ice age' and 'serenity' is the guy who composed the music for 'norbit'. i was so impressed with his work here i ended up going to borders after i left theater to buy the soundtrack that includes his compositions as well as the songs featured in the film. i have to say 'norbit sneaks out' and 'norbit and kate' are the best.
another one of the very few highlights of 'norbit' is the presence of eddie griffin and the performance he gives as the pimp pope sweet jesus. yes, you may be scratching your heads at the thought of such a character being mentioned as such. it's true though and the charisma griffin has is what makes him a pleasure to watch. he's smooth, relaxed, & on point at all times while delivering his lines that are surprisingly not over the top in this otherwise showcase for jokes of that type.
those over the top jokes and gags are unfortunately what will be bringing all the people to the theaters this weekend as rasputia crushes young hannibal lecter at the box office. be warned, 'norbit' may have the glasses and mr. nice guy likeness but he is no 'nutty professor' by any means.
- originally written on february 10, 2007
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