Todd Russell’s review published on Letterboxd:
"Dolemite is my name, and f**king up motherf**kers is my game!"
Video Review - just after viewing (Netflix Original)
It's exciting to see Eddie Murphy back in an R-rated movie. He's playing comic Rudy Ray Moore trying to fulfill his big dreams as the profanity-laced character Dolemite. Nobody cared that much about Rudy Ray Moore's comedy, but when he took on the persona of Dolemite, everything changed.
Plenty of fun scenes like the one where Moore needs a spot to film the Dolemite movie and he talks to the landlord of a run-down building and he will "clean it up" and get it for free. Then they don't have anybody that knows anything about making an actual movie, so he brings in university film students to handle the "technical details." One technical detail is there is no power, so Moore has them hijack power from a nearby building. Love it!
This movie drew me back into the 70s and the rise of martial arts and blaxploitation films. There were some films so bad that they were funny. At least Moore intentionally tried to be funny with his Dolemite character. Moore was clearly a lot smarter than people gave him credit for at the time and he's cult status now. This is a role that was tailor-made for Eddie Murphy. The Eddie Murphy of old that I remember so fondly. The 48 Hours and Beverly Hills Cop good Murphy.
There is more than comedy to this film. Rudy Ray Moore faced many obstacles and challenges trying to get Dolemite -- a film with a budget of around $100,000 -- made and promoted. He had plenty of doors slammed in his face. Dolemite is like the Rocky -- without the critical acclaim -- of cult comedy.
"F**k that, critics don't know nothing!" - Rudy Ray Moore on movie critics.
There is risk in a movie like this being seen as silly and stupid. Certainly the Dolemite movie was no Academy Award winning film, it was a cult phenomenon. Murphy shines in selling both the spirit and DNA of the story of Rudy Ray Moore as Dolemite. This is one of his better acting roles. Give me this film over The Golden Child any day, even though that grossed more . Recommended.