Eddie Murphy plays the dual role of “this generations greatest captain” and “the ship itself” in this Sci-Fi comedy about a crew of 3 inch tall aliens in persuit of a secret weapon designed to steal all of the Salt Water on earth.
Much has been made of how bad “Meet Dave” is, and like “Norbit” before it, most of the problems people have with it can be traced to the easy familiarity of the movie and not to any other quantitive problem. It’s trite and lazy; the plot is obvious and cookie-cutter easy. Aliens come to Earth and take on the attributes of humans, some get into rap, some go crazy and the ostensibly toughest guy on board is a flaming stereotype. Sigh, yawn, seen it before. There are no surprises here. The guy with a stick up his butt goes crazy, takes over the ship an alienates the “kid”. Yawn.
The fish out of water story has been done to death, even by Eddie Murphy himself. This movie might even be best described as a family-friendly “Coming to America” with Arsenio Hall replaced with Gabrielle Union. It’s pretty much the same movie. Eddie Murphy’s character tries to blend in with the Humans, fails, falls for a local girl and finds love. It’s the same basic movie, without James Earl Jones and Sexual Chocolate.
Once again, we have a long-time movie comedian going back to the well for more of the same, hoping to win over his core audience, only to find out that his core audience has grown tired of his work and moved on to dirtier pastures. When Eddie Murphy tried to go back to dirtier roots (Norbit) they weren’t interested in that either. Which is a shame, because like Mike Myers’ “The Love Guru”, “Meet Dave” isn’t a bad comedy. I laughed at the predictable jokes and liked the ending. Yes, I saw it all coming when I saw the poster, but it didn’t make the ride any worse.
Audiences will go on the same Roller Coaster over and over again, hit the same drops and loops over and over and keep going back, why don’t they do the same for movies by established celebreties? They see the same stories over and over, the same themes. It’s not to say that “Meet Dave” is great, but it wasn’t as bad as one would have imagined. Eddie Murphy was funny, the relationship with the kid was “hearwarming” and the plot was straightforward. What more can one say about a family-friendly movie?