Dolemite Is My Name ★★★★★

"Nobody even got naked. Was that even a real movie?"

Driven by the ego of the endlessly lovable Rudy Ray Moore, the legendary Eddie Murphy makes an incredible and timely comeback portraying the comedian and blaxploitation actor with 'Dolemite Is My Name,' a hilarious tale that travels back to the 1970s and showcases one man's journey into making a name for himself and showing the world he exists, never taking no for an answer through his comedy and aspirations to make films. Murphy plays "the Godfather of rap" with a likable affection to him, equal parts funny and driven by his goals as he is talented and out to make the world laugh and applaud. If this ends up being a kickoff for a proper career resurgence for Murphy, I'm more than ready and it's long overdue.

While I perhaps didn't know much about Moore or his 'Dolemite' series before watching the film, I can't help but feel like, via archival footage, Murphy captured him well and did a wonderful service to the man and his legacy. Murphy seems to have not lost a step here in his years away from the limelight - he's just as charming, brutal, and raunchy as ever, delivering punchlines with riotous aplomb and capturing the attention of a room in his own unique way. The supporting cast surrounding him is equally talented, from Wesley Snipes and Keegan-Michael Key to Da'Vine Joy Randolph and Kodi Smit-McPhee. Each one brings their own unique brand of humor and drama to the proceedings and it sprinkles in a varied brand of life and energy to the scenes. Director Craig Brewer's career may be a bit hit or miss at times, but he has one of the biggest hits on his hands here, bringing the best out of Eddie Murphy that one can and capturing the 1970s wonderfully - lingo, attire, settings and all. This is one hysterical success story I look forward to returning to again eventually.

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