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Holy Man

movie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Holy Man

Starring: Eddie Murphy, Jeff Goldblum
Director: Stephen Herek
Rated: PG
RunTime: 100 Minutes
Release Date: October 1998
Genre: Comedy

*Also starring: Kelly Preston, Jon Cryer, Robert Loggia

Review by MrBrown
1½ stars out of 4

Who knew that in 16 years Eddie Murphy, who made such a brash, raucous big-screen splash in _48_Hrs._, would become... cuddly. The disconcerting trend begun in this summer's cutesy, largely laugh-free _Doctor_Dolittle_ continues with this earnest-to-a-fault dramedy.

Although he is top-billed, here Murphy is merely support for Jeff Goldblum, who plays Ricky Hayman, the programming director at a home shopping network. Sales are way down, and Ricky's job hangs by a thread until he meets G (Murphy), a mysterious spiritual guru whom a desperate Ricky puts on the air. While sales skyrocket and G becomes an overnight sensation, the reinvigorated Ricky's greed grows, endangering his budding romance with a goodhearted media research consultant (Kelly Preston).

Writer Tom Schulman has some promising ideas, satirizing home shopping and infomercials and the nature of instant celebrity. But these ideas would have more bite if Stephen Herek had invested any energy into the direction of the film. The sluggishly paced _Holy_Man_ is not only slow and overlong (113 minutes), but an unfunny bore, and Murphy can do little to juice up the proceedings; cleansed of both the attitude _and_ comic sensibility that made him a star (G is, for the most part, a straight man), he is a curiously lifeless presence. Goldblum is actually quite good, but it's hard for the audience to sustain much interest in his character and spiritual journey when the director doesn't seem to be much interested, either.

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