Meet Dave

posted July 18, 2008 12:07:00 PM CDT | 4 comments

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There’s a moment in this one when an unassuming earthling (Elizabeth Banks) asks the droid bearing a striking resemblance to Axel Foley to give his full name. The little people living inside the decoy, specifically the captain (Eddie Murphy) and No. 3 (Gabrielle Union), didn’t plan on anything beyond a first name, so they scramble to the internet to find something. No. 3 stumbles upon some oddly-named site called Google. Hehehehe. She offers the most common name in the world: “Dave Ming Chang.”

Okay, we’ll wait for you to stop laughing…

…If you didn’t chuckle at that one, there’s a small chance you will at anything else in this sci-fi dance about a thumb-sized band of extraterrestrials scouring New York City for an orb they released here to suck up all Earth’s water to help rejuvenate their own dying planet. Nothing about that mission, Murphy’s over-dramatic mechanics or a ridiculous sidekick (Kevin Hart) is funny to anyone besides eight-year-old kids. (Sidenote: Is there ever a movie where Hart isn’t acting a complete ass?)

Still, even with all that said, Meet Dave isn’t the complete mess your better judgment or sad opening weekend numbers might indicate. It’s the air of nostalgia that’ll get you. When the Murphy robot eats or drinks, you can see the hot dogs and soda dwarf the people inside and you think you’re watching Honey, I Shrunk the Kids outtakes. When the lil’ people escape the body and fall into coffee or blow away on grocery bags, it’s actually decent-looking, leaving you half expecting Rick Moranis to show up.

But he never does. Nor does much chemistry ever spark between Eddie and Gabrielle. Their sexually-tense scenes come off stiff and forced—sorta like all the jokes here. That wasn’t always the case. There was a time when family comedies worked for Eddie (The Nutty Professor, Shrek). Now it all seems almost as distance as Pluto… Nash.

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