Review by Jack Foley
EDDIE Murphy delivers one of his best performances in recent memory in Imagine That, but stil can’t compensate for the film’s overall shortcomings.
He plays a divorced financial executive who is struggling to balance paternal responsibility with a slump in work performance.
Redemption is found in his daughter’s imagination, which unlocks the key to both financial success and father-daughter bonding.
Karey Kirkpatrick’s film is essentially a corporate comedy masquerading as a family movie that struggles to maintain a consistent balance.
The corporate politics will bore younger viewers, while the curious lack of any lavish effects during the imagined sequences also feels like a bit of a let-down too.
Kirkpatrick attempts to make up for these shortcomings by having Murphy clown about the boardroom and adopt childish phrases to explain his business decisions, while also employing Thomas Haden Church as an OTT villain. Neither actor is able to paper over the obvious frailty of the premise.
The film works best during the intimate moments shared between Murphy and his on-screen daughter, Yara Shahidi, who genuinely wins viewers’ affections.
But while finally providing Murphy with some decent material after the twin disappointments of Norbit and Meet Dave, it’s not enough to salvage Imagine That from the oddity it becomes.
The result is a family comedy that just doesn’t add up to a satisfying whole, in spite of the best intentions of everyone concerned.
Running time: 106mins
UK DVD Release: January 18, 2010