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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Norbit

    It is just not a good time for movies. I had to choose between this, ‘Hannibal Rising,’ and ‘The Messengers.’ So why ‘Norbit?’ Eddie Murphy. Because I respect his career, I will look past this project and wait patiently for ‘Shrek the Third.’

    In the style of ‘The Nutty Professor,’ Eddie Murphy plays the key characters. As an infant, Norbit was abandoned at a Chinese restaurant/orphanage owned by Mr. Wong and grew up in an unusual environment. As a child he lost his only true friend, Kate, when she was adopted. Some years later he met Rasputia and, due to his insecurities and desperation for a family, he let Rasputia and her intimidating brothers rule his life. Now, as Rasputia and Norbit’s marriage is falling apart, Kate moves back to town with her fianc’eacute; to buy the orphanage/restaurant. Both Norbit and Kate seem to suffer from the same emotional needs for stability and difficulty trusting those who they’ve chosen to keep in their lives.

    The ensemble was an odd mix of characters. Norbit is a friendly, good-hearted and weak man. He’s too pathetic. Mr. Wong is a racist, foul-mouthed father-figure who nearly killed the children with his ‘whaling’ hobby. Rasputia is a grotesque monstrosity that played on fat jokes, manipulation, and possessive tactics. Her attempts at getting into her car were total clich’eacute;. Kate, played by Thandie Newton, was exactly as she was supposed to be: skinny, pretty, and the naive girl who hadn’t changed since her days at the orphanage. Her fianc’eacute;, played by Cuba Gooding, Jr., was the lying, superficial player. Eddie Griffin and Katt Williams played legit business pimps. They had no reason to be in the movie. Other secondary characters were stereotypical senior citizens.

    ‘Norbit’ is not the quality work Eddie Murphy is known for. However, what is lost has been regained somewhat by the very impressive makeup and prosthetics teams. The script easily could have been written as an animation film but Eddie’s characters were too close to realistic. They earned their money well.

    The humor is geared more for shock value than for real laughs. ‘Norbit’ was done in poor taste with unclear intentions.

    Since his brother is credited as co-writer, it should be a lesson that from now on Eddie should keep a separate career; don’t agree to any further collaborations with family. Future projects should be on the same level as Coming to America and his time on SNL. Better luck next time.

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