The Adventures of Pluto Nash
2 out of 5 stars
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The Adventures of Pluto Nash Support Shadows: Buy a Poster
By never deciding what it wants to be--wacky comedy or action thriller--this film fails miserably on both fronts. Mostly because it's never even tries to be funny or exciting. What remains is a vaguely enjoyable, but very lazy, romp. It's 2087 and the ex-con Pluto Nash (Murphy) owns the most successful nightclub on the moon. But the mafia wants a piece of his action, so he is forced to go on the run with his faithful robot (Quaid) and, of course, a beautiful woman (Dawson) to fend off the henchman (Pantoliano) and sort things out. Along the way they encounter a number of zany characters and get help from friends old (Mohr, Boyle and Grier) and new (Guzman).

The film looks good, with relatively understated special effects that cleverly create the atmosphere of the moon community as a kind of Wild West in outer space, populated by conmen and desperados. The cast give decent performances, in an undemanding sort of way, mostly playing it straight and avoiding the goofy slapstick that would have made this film excruciating. All the bit roles and cameos for star character actors and scene-stealers help a lot! But the film never seems to be anything besides a bit of poorly plotted fluff. The storyline is so trite and lame that we couldn't care less about the characters; the big twist at the end is just plain stupid. And there are only perhaps two jokes that make us laugh. All that aside, the film is still oddly watchable due to a brisk and breezy tone and the surprisingly solid cast. But five minutes after it ends you'll be hard pressed to remember one single thing about it.

cert PG themes, violence, innuendo, language 20.Aug.02

dir Ron Underwood
scr Neil Cuthbert
with Eddie Murphy, Rosario Dawson, Randy Quaid, Jay Mohr, Joe Pantoliano, Luiz Guzman, James Rebhorn, Illeana Douglas, Peter Boyle, Pam Grier, Burt Young, John Cleese, Alec Baldwin
release US 16.Aug.02; UK 30.Aug.02
02/US 1h32

Home, James. The gang bicker with an electronic chauffeur to make their "exciting" getaway (Dawson, Quaid and Murphy).

murphy quaid dawson mohr
R E A D E R   R E V I E W S
the man on the moon send your review to Shadows... "So after over two long years gathering dust on the shelves at Warner Bros, someone decided to finally release on an unsuspecting moviegoing public this wasteful and hideously monotonous futuristic farce? A dependable director (Underwood, who had a good track record with City Slickers and Tremors), helmed this shoddy and garishly galactic bomb. The screenplay by Neil Cuthbert (Mystery Men, Hocus Pocus) does little to instil any campy imagination into this relentlessly joyless and wretched fiasco. Overall, the film incorporates a flagrantly generic and jittery retro-look where the production design looks as if it were bought wholesale from a Lost in Space auction. The dialogue is mercilessly lame and childish with its usual dose of boring and crude body part jokes. Even Eddie Murphy seems tied down by the triteness of this dispiriting dud. As for why Murphy opted to appear in this vacuous vehicle? Maybe there was a chance he could duplicate the sci-fi sauciness demonstrated by Will Smith in Men In Black? I guess another Doctor Dolittle film looks mighty good right about now. This is an inane, tacky and stultifying experience for anyone to endure. Gee, talk about a meteoric miscalculation! * (out of 4)." --Frank Ochieng, Massachusetts 22.Aug.02
2002 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall