It is with subtle but sure statement of purpose that I have not yet reserved, nor will I ever reserve, any of this space to discuss Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of The Crystal Skull. My agenda here is to only ever write constructively, if I can’t always write entirely positively. Like or dislike or abhor, that’s not a movie that calls out for constructive comment. But I will preface my main point today with a brief anecdote referencing that moviegoing experience:
As we left the end credits into the brightness of the lobby, my good friend’s shoulders sagged with a sense of loss. For me, it wasn’t as tragic an occasion. Then I glanced over at the cardboard cut-out shouting “Meet Dave”! and I suddenly knew how my friend felt.
Lots of guys of my generation grew up wanting to be one of two things – Indiana Jones and Han Solo. That wasn’t me. If anything, I wanted to be Axel Foley.
The real issue with Eddie Murphy, unlike Harrison Ford who gave it up long ago and never bothered to bring it back, is that Eddie Murphy never lost it. He still has it, only he appears to be choosing to rarely use it. But you still see it in lengthy flashes of genius – in the first Nutty Professor, in Life, in Bowfinger, in Dreamgirls – actually, that’s more positive examples than might be expected, but on the flip side, there are far more examples of movies where, not to denigrate the efforts of so many, but still, it would be difficult to argue that they showcase Eddie Murphy working to the pinnacle of his monumental comic ability.
So I sign on this morning and see the article by Devin Faraci on the main CHUD page: http://chud.com/articles/articles/15401/1/EDDIE-MURPHY-DECIDES-HE0395-DONE-ENOUGH-HARM/Page1.html
I really like the idea proposed by that article of looking on this statement optimistically. Of course there’s no way Eddie’s retiring for real. But if he takes even a temporary break, works on some new stand-up (too good a promise to be true), even if all it does is to derail Brett Ratner’s Beverly Hills Cop 4, it can only be a good thing. I’m not interested in piling on Ratner (although I can’t ever fully trust anyone who thinks he can do Red Dragon/ Manhunter better than Michael Mann originally did), but let me put it this way –
couldn’t make the Beverly Hills Cop franchise spark again. John Landis is one of my favorite directors of all time, and if he couldn’t make a classic Beverly Hills Cop, I don’t have much faith in anyone else. I just wouldn’t want to see that, and if it were to happen, I’d have to. That’s the thing – I’m going to keep following Eddie’s work anyway, so I always hope to see that talent I respect so much continuing and developing.
is next up on my Netflix queue. (Told you I was dedicated…) We’ll find out tonight whether or not I will have to rethink this entire article tomorrow…