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Norbit – Movie Review

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“Neither clever nor a bit funny.”
_ Norbit _
Title: Norbit
Eddie Murphy returns to the fat suit in the new attempt at comedy, Norbit. But gone are the writing and likable characters that made Nutty Professor such a fun, truly laugh out loud film. What remains are leftover jokes and stale gags that are not even close to clever or comedic. It relies too heavily on the site gag of an overweight Murphy and has nothing else to fall back on.
Norbit (Eddie Murphy) is your typical spineless character who gets wrangled into a marriage with the overpowering, obnoxious Rasputia (also Eddie Murphy). Never able to stand up for himself Norbit puts up with Rasputia and her three mafia-wanna-be brothers. When his adolescent crush Kate (Thandie Newton) returns home to purchase the orphanage where they met, Norbit decides he has had enough of Rasputia’s dominance. Throw in the normal high jinks of mindless comedy and you have Norbit all figured out.
The problem with putting the entire weight of a film on a character like Rasputia is that after 2 scenes it just isn’t funny any more. Ok we get it. She is fat and obnoxious. We figured that out 5 minutes into the film. It would be ok if there was a plot to fall back on. But the totally predictable path of “will Norbit and Kate hook up” and “will the bad people get what’s coming to them” doesn’t even strive for cleverness. Zero plot added to the not funny Rasputia equals a long and sometimes boring movie experience. The only saving moments in this film involve the local pimps (Eddie Griffin and Katt Williams). Griffin has a delivery and comedic nature about him that is easy and slick and the only part of this film that is genuinely funny.
Norbit is rated PG-13 for crude and sexual humor, some nudity and language. If you are looking for a film in the Klump family forget it. This thing doesn’t even make it into Big Momma’s House. I found myself laughing a few times but not enough to warrant even a mild appreciation. Those in the audience who were laughing continuously were more than likely expressing joy at seeing it for free. Parting with your cash to view this film will put you in a far less cheerful mood. I give Norbit 2 out of 5 chins. I’m Matt Mungle.
The Mungle (matt@spin180.net)(02/07/07)
“Matt is a member of the North Texas Film Critics Association (NTFCA) and hosts the weekly syndicated Indie Rock Radio Show Spin 180. Plus with his wife Cindy they do a weekly radio feature, The Mungles on Movies. For additional reviews and interview clips visit the website www.mungleshow.com”

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