Dolemite Is My Name

Dolemite Is My Name ★★★½

"It's like Christmas, except your daddy ain't drunk and your momma ain't cryin'!" ~ Bobby Vale

This is easily the best Eddie Murphy role I've seen since he began voicing Donkey for the "Shrek" franchise twenty years ago. It is also a slice of black history that I knew nothing about, having lived overseas during most of the 1970s, when blaxploitation films were hitting their stride.

Murphy here plays Rudy Ray Moore, a record store manager whose dreams of stardom as a recording artist are fading as the years pile up on him. His friend, the radio DJ called Roj (Snoop Dogg), advises Rudy to give up and accept his lot. But that's not the curbed performer's way at all. Using material taken from tall-tale-telling homeless men, Rudy re-invents himself as the braggadocious, pimp-like character Dolemite. From there, stand-up comedy gigs, hit recordings, and film production follow. It's quite a story, and well worth watching.

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