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Hollywood please save us from Eddie Murphy

Posted Thursday, May 10, 2007 at 9:47 AM Central

by Tim Briscoe

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Eddie Murphy is set to star in a big screen version of Fantasy Island, the popular '70s and '80s TV series starring Ricardo Montalban.

The catch here is that Eddie will once again be playing multiple roles in the family-friendly film.

When Murphy first did the multiple character thing in The Nutty Professor, it was great. Well, actually, he did flirt with multiple characters in Coming To America a few years earlier and that was pretty good. Eddie took it a little too far in The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps.

Just this year, he drove the multiple character thing into absurdity with Norbit. And next he's doing numerous roles for Fantasy Island? Man, that's enough.

God help us if he performs Herve "The plane The plane!" Villechaize's role of Tattoo. (You just know he will.)

The real trouble is that I remember when Eddie Murphy was good. I mean, really good. 48 Hrs., Trading Places, and The Golden Child were good. Concert films Delirious and Raw were great. He was edgy. He was funny.

Now Eddie's just "safe" and kid-friendly. Daddy Day Care, Dr. Dolittle, The Haunted Mansion. Blech!

The same thing happened with his hero, the late, great Richard Pryor. Remember Superman III and Brewster's Millions? At least he came back to more edgy films like Jo Jo Dancer, Critical Condition, and Harlem Nights -- with Eddie -- after flirting with PG. (Pryor's Moving is vastly underrated in my book.)

Granted, he turned in an amazing performance in Dreamgirls. In fact, he was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his efforts. The trouble is, as many people in Hollywood have said, the absurd Norbit was released at the same time Academy voters were returning their ballots. That movie probably lost him the prize.

So, please, Hollywood. Take the make-up and prosthetics away from Eddie. He's far too talented to be reduced to these types of movies. Let him return to the edgy stuff for which we grew to love to him. Let him be funny.

If we don't stop this now, in 10 years Dave Chappelle will be doing a remake of Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.