Gary Liew’s review published on Letterboxd:
Possible Netflix masterpiece of 2019? A delightful, charming & absolutely hilarious biopic abt black comedian Rudy Ray Moore, who rounds up a band of misfits to make a microbudget Blaxploitation film starring himself as Dolemite, a character conceived from his stand-up act.
Like One Cut of the Dead & Disaster Artist, this hit a sweet spot with a subset of genre I love, the making-of-a-film-within-a-film, & like One Cut Dir. Craig Brewer focuses more on the hijinks & hilarity that ensues with acquiring resources & fun problem-solving during the film production, including an ingenious sex scene that gave me stomach cramps from hysterical laughing.
Follows the biopic formula occasionally but you’d have to be immune to the barrel of laughs, loveable characters, their hilarious interactions & the funny dialogue to really spot any of that stuff.
And yet, underneath all that lighthearted fun is a strong message abt the resilience of the creative artist, believing in yourself when no one else would, while pursuing your art & dreams with a never-say-no spirit.
Eddie Murphy is absolutely electric in this, amidst a fantastic ensemble comprised of stars & comedians from Kimmy Schmidt, The Office, a series of Marvel vampire-hunter films & cameos by celebrities influenced by Rudy’s achievements. Despite a diminishing presence in the spotlight of late, Murphy returns, slipping into leading man status without missing a beat, fully in control of his own comic timing & stature, & reasserts himself once again as one of Hollywood’s greatest comic leading men like he’s never left.
The best comedy of 2019 by far. Thoroughly entertaining from start-to-finish. An absolute crowd-pleaser with a ton of heart & charm. Has a really sweet ending too. It’s gonna be hard not walking around the house uttering lines like “I can learn to chop me a motherfucker!” or leave a disappointing movie theatre experience without quoting “No titties, no funny & no Kung-Fu?!” with my friends.