Dolemite Is My Name - Review
Dolemite Is My Name is a true story about comedian Rudy Ray Moore, and his rise to fame. The comedy is elevated by its cast, and brings a cult legend to the forefront with this new Netflix film.
Eddie Murphy is one of the funniest people alive. Unfortunately he hasn't had much to sink his teeth into lately that proves that fact. Luckily that all changes with Dolemite Is My Name. It is a role that showcases every one of Murphy's talents, and it pays off big time.
Dolemite has a cult following from the handful of films that showed the titular character, but this film is a good "in" for people who are unfamiliar. It lays out the story well, and Moore's journey into stardom and fame is entertaining from beginning to end. Playing a real person is always difficult, but Murphy managed to portray Moore with care and heart, while still having some signature "Eddie Murphy" moments.
Even if you aren't familiar with Moore or Dolemite, the film still resonates with anyone who has found road blocks when pursuing their dreams. Moore wanted to be famous. He wanted to entertain people. He hit obstacles at every turn, yet he never gave up. He willed his dream into existence, and it is something that everyone should take to heart.
The cast surrounding Murphy is strong too. Craig Robinson, Mike Epps, Keegan-Michael Key, TI, Chris Rock, Tituss Burgess and Snoop Dogg all give stellar performances. But it is the inclusion of Wesley Snipes that really takes the movie to the next level. Both Snipes and Murphy deliver one of the best performances of their storied careers.
Da'Vine Joy Randolph also adds a whole other layer of complexity to a rather simple story. Her character Lady Reed has one of the deepest, emotional, and nuanced arcs of the film. Her journey is wonderful to watch, and the back and forths between her and Murphy provide the film with some of its sweetest moments, including the her thank you to him at the end. It is one of the most powerful moments in the movie, a scene that could make you shed a tear.
When director Craig Brewer lets Murphy go off is when the film is at its funniest. But for as funny as Dolemite Is My Name is, it also has a ton of heart. Due to Murphy's performance, you can't help but root for the guy to succeed. The film delights at every turn. It has emotional depth, ridiculous stunts, funny jokes, celebrity cameos, a powerful message, and a feel good attitude. There isn't much more you could ask for from a piece of entertainment.
It is quite apparent how much Moore meant to everyone involved in the film. They all took the care and tenacity to makes sure that this film showed his legacy in a positive light.
Seeing Eddie Murphy back in a movie doing what he does best is such a wonderful thing. If Dolemite Is My Name marks the beginning of the Eddie Murphy renaissance, then it will be even more special than it already is.
Dolemite Is My Name is a spectacular film, and if it doesn't inspire to you to keep after your dreams, then you weren't paying attention. It is a film about hope, determination, representation, the human desire to be loved, and how important expressing yourself is.
Dolemite Is My Name is now streaming on Netflix.