• Joshua Buck

Dolemite is my Name (2019) Review

Eddie Murphy portrays real-life legend Rudy Ray Moore, a comedy and rap pioneer who proved naysayers wrong when his hilarious, obscene, kung-fu fighting alters ego, Dolemite, became a 1970s Blaxploitation phenomenon.

A story that I didn’t even realise existed and maybe that is because I’m a 23-year-old white male but id never heard of Rudy Ray Moore and this film made me feel like it gave me an insight into the mindset of his character and Rudy really felt like he did everything he wanted to get to a point that he was happy with his life. Rudy was a character that seemed to take every opportunity that he could get his hands on and this was no more evident than the scene where he meets D’Urville Martin (Wesley Snipes) in a strip club and he thinks it's okay just to walk right up to him and straight-up asking him to be in the Dolemite movie.

I loved the little cameo from Snoop Dog as a radio host that really threw me off at the beginning of the movie as I really wasn’t expecting to see him in this film. The film took me a while to get into it at first but I think that is because the beginning of the movie focuses on the world building that plays lovely homage to the history of the area and at the same time really tries to develop a character and for me, that was a lot to cram into the opening 30 minutes and feel like it did it well but was perhaps a bit too much for my liking.

A component of the film I really liked was how I felt the film really captured the aesthetics of the 70s era and I really like it. The exotic characters and the costumes 100% got me invested in the world that Rudy was in.

This film is very character-based and not once did I think the character of Rudy seem out of character. Every moment he had and action his character took felt genuine. This is a great bit of writing and the writing of this movie really is sublime. The story raises the stakes at the right time and it has fallen at the right points with revealing that Rudy has given all of his money into this film and has to move into the ‘studios’ that he is making his movie in.

This film is ridiculously funny and the timings with the dialogue combined with the acting make it so funny to watch. This has to be one of the funniest films I have seen in recent times and it is very clever in the way it delivers its jokes. It doesn’t derive itself of a bit of harmless slapstick every now and then though with the flick of a light switch causing the lights to explode. It is genuinely entertaining.

A big shout out has to go to Eddie Murphy in this movie and his performance is fantastic and at times very refreshing. You feel the struggle his character goes through when he gets a character setback and does a great job of setting his character ‘Dolemite’ from his actual character who he finds great solace in Lady Reed (Da’Vine Joy Randolph) and the chemistry between the two is perfect for this style of movie and delivers some great open heart-warming moments.

To conclude, this comedy provided me with a laugh but was a film that turned out to be a lot more than that. It taught me about the career of an actor/comedian that I never even knew existed. Eddie Murphy's performance was refreshing and the actor really showed his maturity in acting class. These elements combined with decent writing meant I really enjoyed myself.

I rate this movie a very firm solid 4/5.

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