Reel Society

Reviews for the latest movies in theaters and on DVD.

Meet Dave

Review by David Ranscht


Meet Dave can effectively be summed up in one sentence: Men in Black, without the fun.

The plot is fairly similar to the Will Smith blockbuster:  Eddie Murphy plays an inch-tall alien spaceship captain whose planet, Nil, is in danger. These aliens need salt to power their planet, so they create an orb which will drain any planet’s oceans. It gets sent to Earth, and naturally its trajectory into Earth’s ocean fails; it hits a satellite and instead bounces through a window into a child’s fishbowl. A few months later, the aliens arrive on Earth in a human-shaped ship to retrieve this orb (a ship that, coincidentally, also looks like Eddie Murphy), complete its objective, and return to their home planet. The captain is in love with his 3rd in command (Gabrielle Union), but because there is no emotion on planet Nil (only rational calculation), he has no idea how to express it.

The rest of the film is just a mess. One of the underlying themes is that Murphy (the alien captain) learns emotion, and thus finds love with his #3, through the interaction of Murphy (the ship) with an Earth woman (Elizabeth Banks). But if that’s the life lesson we’re supposed to get, then the film does a pretty poor job of getting that across. Most of it is a mere exposition of the seemingly hilarious situation – this “machine” trying to fit in on Earth through information gathered from Google. When asked for a name, for example, the aliens settle on Dave Ming Chang because they are some of the most common names on Earth. (“But the ship is a black man! Hilarious!”) Upon encountering a house-cat, the file footage flashing across Dave’s screens is of a menacing lion. Upon accepting a dinner invitation, Dave’s crew Googles ‘meatloaf,’ only to find concert footage of the singer. It’s all slapstick, but the filmmakers seem to have forgotten that antics can’t always make an entire film.

In short, if this is the direction Eddie Murphy’s career is going, well… maybe it’s best he confirms those recent rumors and hangs it up.

1 ½ /5 stars

Comments (1):

  • Jonas Mish @ 08/03/2008 ( 7:47:37 PM )
    I dont wanna watch Meet dave anymore. Im sad. C'mon Beverly Hills Cop 4!
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