Review by Jack Foley
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Gag Reel; Deleted Scenes; Did You See That; Art on the Floor and Making Out in the Elevator; Arrest this Traitor; And Another Thing Number 4; Alternative Ending; The Making of Meet Dave; Crew Confessions; Fox Movie Channel Presents; Life After Film School with Director Brian Robbins; Making a Scene; World Premiere.
SOME of the best films have come from repeat collaborations between directors and actors, such as Sergio Leone and Clint Eastwood, Steven Soderbergh and George Clooney or Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio. Unfortunately, Brian Robbins and Eddie Murphy is not a partnership to remember.
In what must rate as one of the least keenly-anticipated reunions in screen history, the team behind Norbit now invite audiences to Meet Dave. The result is only moderately less excruciating.
Dave Ming Chang (played by Murphy) is a spaceship made in the image of its miniature-sized captain (also Murphy) who has landed on Earth on a mission to save his planet. In spaceship form, Dave is the same size as humans and can venture about New York City attempting to find a device that will drain the Earth’s oceans and supply his own planet with the minerals it needs to survive. His voice and actions are controlled by the miniature people inside.
Complications occur when spaceship Dave starts falling for an attractive single mother (Elizabeth Banks) whose son (Austin Lynd Myers) has the ocean-draining device. And they’re compounded when the ship’s crew starts behaving erratically and imitating humans and miniature Dave suddenly finds a rival for his affections from the ship’s shapely number two (Gabrielle Union).
Despite being billed as a high concept comedy, Meet Dave is actually a pointless succession of juvenile toilet gags and silly facial mugging that will only really appeal to very young viewers.
Murphy cruises on auto-pilot throughout and seems to use his character’s lack of understanding of human emotion as the basis for failing to emote at all, while co-star Elizabeth Banks emerges as one of the worst on-screen mothers of all-time courtesy of her flippant attitude towards childcare.
The presence of Scott Cann’s sympathetic police officer, meanwhile, feels largely redundant and a lame excuse to add some unnecessary story padding.
Robbins attempts to enliven proceedings with a go-for-broke finale that attempts to mix Terminator-style carnage with Honey, I Shrunk The Kids-inspired fantasy. But by then it’s a lost cause as meeting Dave has long since lost its appeal.
Incredibly, Murphy and Robbins are threatening a third collaboration with A Thousand Words. I can think of just two that describe the prospect of that!
Running time: 90mins
UK DVD Release: December 1, 2008