Dolemite Is My Name ★★★★

a classic of the "okay i'm sure it didn't really happen exactly like this but whatever who cares" movie biopic genre, entertaining from first frame to last.

eddie murphy is very clearly playing a man he worshipped, and he does a terrific job, though there are times when it's hard not to see that it's "eddie murphy" and not "rudy ray moore." but this isn't a critique of murphy's excellent performance; it's a tribute to just how famous and influential he himself is. (fwiw i had the same thought, but to a FAR greater extent, seeing tom hanks as fred rogers in the trailer for "a beautiful day in the neighborhood.")

in a lot of ways (beyond the obvious), this film is the photo negative of "the disaster artist," james franco's film about the making of "the room." both are about movies made by a group of people who really didn't know what they were doing, but where "the room" became famous only as a laughingstock, "dolemite" - despite a not dissimilar general ineptness - was ultimately a box office success ($12 million on a budget of $100,000) and became an influential cultural touchstone. so where i found "disaster artist" to be a comedy that was far more sad than funny, "dolemite is my name" is a far more pleasurable experience.

last but not least, wesley snipes is a damn treasure.

andy liked this review