Complete A-Z list

Dolemite is My Name


Stars: Eddie Murphy, Wesley Snipes, Da'Vine Joy Randolph, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Chris Rock, Snoop Dogg, Keegan-Michael Key, Mike Epps

Director: Craig Brewsr

Eddie who? Well, he may have faded for a while from the movie scene, but the old rapscallion shows he can still carry a film in this gaudy, loud and in-your-face account of the fall and rise of Rudy Ray Moore, an unsuccessful singer, dancer, comedian and all-round hustler of the 1970s who turned his life around by recording a stream of tales and jokes from an old black lush, and turning them into a new, raw nightclub act in which he cussed up a storm and shouted out funny stories in the worst possible taste.

His largely black audiences lap it all up, and his records sell in their thousands, but Rudy Ray hits trouble when he decides to launch himself to film stardom. Using an increasingly incredulous director (Snipes) of blaxploitation movies and a film school crew headed by Nick (McPhee), he creates an amateurish comedy version of a Shaft movie that is so slaughtered by preview critics that it seems unreleasable.

Facing ruin, Rudy Ray is offered one midnight screening at an out-of-town cinema.

Murphy is pretty much the whole show in a film that runs out of steam at the three-quarter mark before picking up its skirts and flying through to the end.

A word, too, for Rudolph, a weightier version of Octavia Spencer, who gives the star more than able support.

There is no copyright date on this film.

David Quinlan

USA 2019. UK Distributor: Netflix. Colour by FotoKem.
118 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 3.

Review date: 10 Oct 2019