Dolemite Is My Name

Dolemite Is My Name ★★★★

Eddie Murphy stars in this biographical comedy as Rudy Ray Moore, an aspiring comedian who develops the risqué character Dolemite and attempts to make a blaxploitation film out of his own pocket, with Craig Brewer directing from a script by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, with Da'Vine Joy Randolph, Keegan-Michael Key, Craig Robinson and Wesley Snipes in supporting roles.

Alexander and Karaszewski excel at looking into offbeat life stories, and the story explores an underdog trying to succeed despite what the mainstream thinks much like Ed Wood, though it’s not quite as strong as that film. They do an excellent job of keeping the humour going throughout whilst also capturing some of the mire poignant moments, as Moore tries to prove himself, the film having a lot of empathy for him.

This was a comeback role for Murphy, and he gives one of his best performances here, really managing to subsume his star power to play someone without as much talent but with a lot of ambition and charisma to make up for it. Murphy’s a large part of why the film works so well, as he’s able to show his character’s eccentricities without ever going into caricature, which gives a warmth to the story.

Snipes manages to steal the show whenever he’s on, playing an against-type role and making the most of a chance to show a more comedic side. It’s very entertaining, and while it’s a little too long the charm of the cast and the quirkiness of the story manage to keep it going, becoming a feelgood look at how films bring people together.

Dolemite Is My Name
is a funny, sweet tribute to a larger-than-life character and the man who created him that might not have much to it, but works because of an upbeat perspective and the electric central performance.

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