Nutty Professor II: The Klumps

They’re back!

The sequel from the 1996 box office smash The Nutty Professor is finally in Thailand, with Eddie Murphy playing no less than eight of the main Klump characters.

Genetics professor and – let’s be blunt – fat man Sherman Hump (Eddie Murphy) is in love with a fellow researcher, the syrupy sweet Denise Gains (Janet Jackson). She confesses her love for him, but Sherman is scared: he can’t control Buddy Love, his straight-shooting alter-ego who occasionally takes control of his body and threatens to ruin his relationship with Denise.

But otherwise, things are looking up: Sherman has just made a major scientific breakthrough. He’s created a "youth formula" which will take years off someone’s life, at least for a little while. Using the genetic information he has uncovered in the course of this discovery, Sherman decides to exorcise Buddy once and for all.

Unsurprisingly, things go wrong. With a little help from a dog hair, Buddy escapes into the real world, eager to take responsibility for the brilliance of the formula, while Sherman slowly loses his intelligence. It’s a race against time to save Sherman from becoming the sort of person who would really enjoy this film.

Now while an audience can be expected to suspend disbelief over certain issues, they shouldn’t also have to deal with a ticking computer clock that moves at different speeds every time the camera cuts to it. How difficult can it be to get a clock to be believable?

The script bumbles along from one burping/farting/breast/penis/excrement/sex joke to the next, which is only to be expected given that the co-writers are also responsible for American Pie while director Peter Segal has the distinguished Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult on his curriculum vitae. If bathroom humor’s your thing, then this is your movie.

Discerning viewers seeking clever humor should stay well away, although I will confess to smiling at Murphy behaving like a human dog – this is comic Murphy at his best – and at the giant horny hamster. The marriage proposal by fireflies is a cute touch, but it’s too bad the audience can’t read what Denise apparently can.

Sure, it’s true that Eddie Murphy does do an exceptional job playing eight very different characters in this film – although the post-opening restaurant scene with lots of shrill and screaming Murphies in it made me want to stick my fingers in my ears and damn surround sound to hell.

The make-up and editing people too have done a fine job dealing with all the technical problems having eight Murphies on-screen must have entailed – the kiss scene with the raunchy, gummy Grandma Klump stands out in particular.

But in the final analysis it was all a great waste of time. Murphy’s multiple roles do not add anything except novelty value to the film; it merely encourages people to say "Isn’t Murphy clever!" What it won’t make people say is something much more important: "What a great film!"

/ Movie Reviews