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Imagine That

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Review by 
Sean Lynch

For over a decade now, fans of Eddie Murphy have quite loudly questioned the cinematic decisions that the 1980s funny man has made.

Not that Murphy is the kind of guy that has ever really taken on a job for the "craft" of acting - in fact, he has always been quite open about the fact his eyes are on the cash at all times.

But if Box Office returns are anything to go by... even Mr Murphy would be starting to wonder whether or not his refusal to budge from the kiddie genre is a bad choice for the long term future.

imagine that

After all - once people stop paying to see your movies (Meet Dave and this both tanked worldwide in consecutive years), those sweet $20M cheques start to dry up pretty quickly.

Imagine That, stars Eddie Murphy as a successful financial executive who has more time for his Blackberry than his seven-year-old daughter (the wonderfully cute Yara Shahidi).

However, when he has a crisis of confidence and his career starts going down the drain, he finds the solution to all his problems in his daughter's imaginary world.

While Imagine That is one of Murphy's most grounded flicks in a long time, there are still several fundamental genre flaws which bog the film down.

First and foremost - the main focus and screen time of Imagine That is spent on a business that even most adults (let alone the toddlers the studio is aiming for) just don't get : the stock market.

How you expect the kiddies to understand why "Daddy's job is so life and death" when 95% of adults knowledge of Wall Street extends to "Stock goes up, stock goes down... what's stock again?".

Why any studio would greenlight a pitch for Wall Street with kids is truly beyond me.

There is also a distinct lack of laughs here too. In what should be a premise ready to deliver the gags, there simply isn't that much to laugh about (with so much of the action taking place in the boardrooms of the stock firm). Yes, Imagine That is kind of fun... but not really all that fun-ny.

A steroid enhanced Thomas Haden Church does his best to deliver something redeemable with his hilarious performance as Murphy's wanky "Native Indian" spiritual nemesis - but even when at his best, the gags will zoom well over the heads of the littlies in the crowd far to easily.

Imagine That isn't completely unwatchable - in fact you could be forgiven for flicking over to it by accident on cable and sticking through to the very end - but at the end of the day it is simply too slow, too unsure of it's audience and just too bland.

Let us all hope that this is the turning point for Eddie Murphy to finally return to R Rated comedies... Imagine that!

DVD Special Features

Considering how much money Imagine That lost at the Box Office, I'm genuinly surprised to see that the DVD is so jam packed. 

Included here are five Deleted Scenes, some "Hilarious" outtakes, a commentary with Director Karey Kirkpatrick and Yara Shahidi, as well as a bunch of featurettes including "Yara Shahidi Set Tour", "A Playground of the Mind", "Getting the Part", "Star Blanket: Native American Influence", "The King and His Jesters" and "What Were They Really Saying?".

Their worth is really up to you... but hardly worth the effort if you ask me.

Conclusion: Movie 50% Extras: 65%

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