A Thousand Words

by Jake Mulligan
Contributor
Saturday Jul 14, 2012

And you thought "John Carter" was the years biggest flop. "A Thousand Words," which sat on the shelf for years before finally getting a mercy-release earlier this Spring, plays like Eddie Murphy’s answer to "The Love Guru."

And the plot - Eddie plays a fast-talking literary agent who pisses off the wrong spiritual leader, and gets struck with a curse that’ll kill him once he says 1000 more words - isn’t just inane, it’s idiotic. Not that it doesn’t make sense, it’s just that who would make a movie that prevents Eddie Murphy from talking? That’s like making a Channing Tatum movie and not letting him take his shirt off.

And boy can you tell that the film has been sitting on a studio desk, unreleased, for at least a few years. The funniest gag isn’t even intentional - it’s Eddie’s ringtone, Lil’ Wayne’s "Lollipop." Probably intended as a hip character trait, it now survives as an indicator of the films forgettable nature. The first twenty minutes actually aren’t that terrible, in fact, they may feature a better Eddie performance than in his claimed comeback, "Tower Heist." But once his word-count comes into play, all the steam lets out of the film immediately. It’s not a comedy, it’s an experiment in not fulfilling the target audience.

So yes, the Blu-ray comes with alternate scenes and a new ending. But who wants them when what made it into the film is this insufferable? This is one of the most misguided pairings of script and actor I’ve ever seen. And it’s only made worse by the fact that the first act is so fun, so snappy, so Eddie. But the rest is just trash.

"A Thousand Words"
Blu-ray
$39.99
www.paramount.com

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