Sunday, January 13, 2013

Imagine That

Imagine That; comedy, USA, 2009; D: Karey Kirkpatrick, S: Eddie Murphy, Yara Shahidi, Thomas Haden Church, Ronny Cox, Nicole Ari Parker, Martin Sheen

Stockbroker Evan Danielson is divorced and has to take care of his 8-year old daughter Olivia for a week, but neglects her because he has to prepare an important report at work. However, when she draws predictions on his report based on her imaginary three friends, Evan burns out to such a degree that he actually uses her guidelines as a joke - but they all turn out to be true. Olivia's predictions somehow all prove true on the market, infuriating his rival Johnny, but Evan skips an important meeting in order to attend Olivia's stage performance.

Eddie Murphy, one of the greatest comedians of the 20th century, mostly did not star in movies that displayed equal talents on pair with his. One of his many rightfully panned movies was "Imagine That" where he went to the territory that somehow suits him best, the genre of an innocent family comedy, yet the story is too thin and has too little real chuckles to ignite into anything more than a watchable fun. Murphy himself is untypically often wooden as a business dad, and Thomas Haden Church almost steals the show from him as the main villain, even surprisingly delivering the funniest joke in the entire film in the quietly hilarious, irresistible monologue about a dream sparrow. Yet except for the 'dream sparrow' and Murphy's low voice in a scene where he is imagining to talk to a dragon, there is practically nothing else to carry the film, which is really too little. A few heart-warming interactions between the main protagonist and his daughter lift the mood, while the movie then resumes its predictable course, most notable in the obligatory, cliche happy ending, not managing to repeat the same quality that director Karey Kirkpatrick repeated with his previous film, the critically acclaimed "Over the Hedge".


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