Justin Peterson’s review published on Letterboxd:
Eddie Murphy is back at the top of his game introducing a whole new generation to the super fun and fly genre of Blaxploitation.
"I'm going to bet on myself. Ain't nobody going to put me on the screen except for me, and everybody I talk to say they want to see a 'Dolemite' movie."
I have always had a soft spot for movies about making movies and this biopic about the one and only Rudy Ray Moore, who brought the hilarious persona of Dolemite to life was easily one of the best feel-good movies of 2019 IMO. With as much as Hollywood loves these kinds of stories, it is an absolute shame Murphy's very funny and heartwarming performance was not rewarded with a Best Actor Oscar nomination.
"Dolemite is my name, and fuckin' up motherfuckers is my game!"
In the story, we see how Rudy's relentless will to succeed takes him from being a wanna-be entertainer to the top of the risque urban comedy scene. To celebrate his success making it on the charts he goes to see a screwball comedy at the movies. Then while watching he gazes back at the projector and begins to dream of putting his own brand of comedy and action up on the big screen.
From there the plot takes off as we follow along on his zany low-budget movie-making adventure. It is great to see how humble Rudy is as he builds up a passionate team around him. His comic chops, determination, and charisma take him a long way, and for the rest he fakes it until he makes it! I also appreciated the film's ongoing theme of Rudy's struggles with distributors, and how it came down to his perseverance and home-grown popularity that drives his success.
"Is there any angle that you could shoot this, where it looks like he's actually kicking him? ... There is no such angle."
A true sign of a great film is when it leaves you wanting to discover more about it. And in the case of Dolemite Is My Name, I am now so curious to finally check out all these great Blaxploitation movies I have never been exposed to before.
Thanks for reading and hopefully listening.
Happy movie watching ... Skål!