Where are laugh tracks when you need them? THE ADVENTURES OF PLUTO
NASH, by hit (CITY SLICKERS) and miss (SPEECHLESS) director Ron Underwood,
stars a painfully unfunny Eddie Murphy as Pluto Nash. A sci-fi comedy
without fun or laughs, it plays like a charmless version of an old Buck Rodgers serial.
Having languished for a long time on the shelf before it finally landed
in the theaters, the movie was released without the normal advanced
screening to critics, and it's easy to see why. It doesn't even work
as a parody of bad sci-fi. BATTLEFIELD EARTH was much more enjoyable.
The lunar sets -- the story takes place on the moon in the latter
part of this century -- are a gaudy take on Las Vegas's neon glitter.
Pluto is a famous ex-smuggler who runs a nightclub. The local bad
guy makes Pluto an offer for his club that he can't refuse but does,
which lands Pluto in no end of trouble.
Randy Quaid plays Bruno, Pluto's old, slow-moving and dense robot,
who serves as his bodyguard. Rosario Dawson (MEN IN BLACK II) is
Dina Lake, a nightclub singer who becomes Pluto's girlfriend. And,
finally, last and certainly least, Jay Mohr plays Tony Francis, a
"Scottish crooner" turned Tony Bennett style singer. Tony has two
identical wives, thanks to the miracle of cloning.
The movie makes you wish that studios would take active charge of
the movies that they are funding. If the studio had seen some of
the dailies during the production, surely they would have pulled the
plug on the entire operation before any more money was wasted and
reputations were damaged.
"I never heard so much drivel in my life," James (John Cleese), a
virtual chauffeur, complains to Pluto and Dina as they speak some
of the movie's inane dialog. Amen!
THE ADVENTURES OF PLUTO NASH runs a long 1:40. It is rated PG-13
for "violence, sexual humor and language" and would be acceptable
for kids around 10 and up.
My son Jeffrey, age 13, gave it ***, saying that Eddie Murphy is one
of his favorite actors and that he liked the futuristict stuff in the picture.
Copyright © 2002 Steve Rhodes