Dolemite Is My Name ★★★

2019 Ranked

Eddie Murphy's Birdman-moment. Perhaps not as powerful but undoubtedly genuine. This isn't just Murphy reliving his own heydays, this is him paying homage to one of his big inspirations, a man who defied the odds and used his underdog power to do so. The film falls too easily in the trap falls of that genre, especially when it enhances the odd twists of fate with another layer of comedy but Murphy’s Rudy Ray Moore has enough truth to him to get you truly invested. It may take until the making of the Dolemite-film-within-the-film to really get things rolling and bring out the most fun in this crazy real-life story but when the comedy and the drama hit each other in just the right way, there’s a genuine sense of magic in the air, magic that may not reach its highest potential but does give a feeling of comfort and familiarity that shows Murphy shouldn’t be ruled out just yet.

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