Title: A Thousand Words

Director: Brian Robbins

Starring: Eddie Murphy, Cliff Curtis, Kerry Washington, Clarke Duke, Allison Janney

Despite the storytelling methods being all-over the place; the last 20 of the 91 minutes of A Thousand Words has a decent message. The rest of the 71 minutes tests one’s patience though; as they must suffer through Eddie Murphy looking constipated, and sadly, not being funny.

Can someone please find out what happened to R-rated Murphy? We received glimpses of his great comedic timing and delivery in the less-than-desirable Tower Heist. But why won’t the guy fully embrace what he is marvelous at anymore? It’s the same question that is/was asked about Adam Sandler, Jim Carrey, and every other edgy comedian that sold-out. With Eddie Murphy, it makes what heavy-metalers Metallica did back in the late ’90s (cut their hair, neutered their sound for a couple albums, sued Napster) seem much ado about nothing.

Getting back on task, harmless and useless is an appropriate way to describe this flick. Granted the number of technical flaws coincide with the movie’s title, yet it’s not completely painful to endure. And the supporting acting, which is spot-on, from the entire cast actually carries Eddie Murphy to the finish line instead of the other way around. Now while this seems like another shot at Murphy – and it may be – his biggest blunder was choosing this project. Actually, Jim Carrey might have been the ideal choice for this since it uses similar angles seen in Liar, Liar. Having said that, the real problem is that this is not a story for the big-screen (or any screen for that matter). Whomever read this script and thought this would work as a film needs to go back and visit their guidance counselor and ask them to re-evaluate their career aptitudes. And I fully expect some wise-ass reader to use that last line against me in the comment section.

Again, aside from the last 20 minute, there is no feeling to this at all. There is no laughter, no remorse, no sadness; simply because the screenplay is scatter-brained. Then all of a sudden, wham-O, a slap of substance quickly flies in and the cliched resolute ending is upon the audience. Next time folks, perhaps making this a short film would have been the wiser choice. This would be a great novel or self-help book, but not a cinematic product.

The gimmick of Eddie Murphy being unable to speak through the majority of this is also comedic suicide. That’s what the guy does people, whether it’s R-rated or toned down! And you can comeback and say, “that’s why it is so funny.” Sure; if you’re sitting around in Murphy’s living-room and just hypothesizing on “what if’s.” But in no way should this ever reach concept form and then be transitioned into a feature length film.

Overall, A Thousand Words is just taking up space in theaters. Just as Murphy’s character states in the film, when describing his job as a high-powered book agent: Just read the first 5 pages (minutes) and then read the last 5 pages (well, 20 minutes) and you find out everything you need to know.

Technical: F

Story: D

Acting: C+

Overall: D

A Thousand Words
As the Metallica song goes, "Sad but True."

Facebook Comments

By Joe Belcastro

Joe Belcastro is an established movie critic in Tampa, Florida. As a member of the Florida Film Critics Circle, most of his time is spent reviewing upcoming movies. He also covers news pertaining to the film industry, on both a local and national level as well as conducting interviews. To contact Joe Belcastro regarding a story or with general questions about his services, please e-mail him and/or follow him on Twiiter @TheWritingDemon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *