Eddie Murphy’s talent as a comic chameleon shines brightly in his new comedy NORBIT. Regrettably, however, the movie has plenty of off-color material requiring extreme caution.
The movie opens with Norbit telling viewers how he was abandoned by his parents and literally thrown at the doorstep of the Golden Wonton Restaurant and Orphanage. Taken in by Mr. Wong, the Chinese man running the orphanage with his wife, Norbit finds happiness as a child with his playmate Kate. They pretend to get married under the oak tree, but soon Kate is whisked out of his life when she is adopted.
Bullied by other boys, Norbit is rescued by an overweight girl named Rasputia, who claims Norbit as her boyfriend, Norbit’s protestations to the contrary. Norbit marries her, but her large and mean brothers take turns with Rasputia bullying him. In fact, Rasputia’s whole family bullies everyone in the town, not just Norbit. They even extort money from the other business owners (Rasputia’s brothers own the local construction and real estate company).
Norbit finds out that Rasputia is cheating on him with her aerobics instructor. Then, Kate returns to town interested in buying the orphanage from Mr. Wong. Kate has a fiancé, however, and the fiancé is secretly plotting with Rasputia’s evil brothers to turn the orphanage into a strip joint.
Eddie Murphy not only plays Norbit. He also dons a large fat suit to play Rasputia and more makeup to play Mr. Wong. All the makeup is excellent, and Murphy does a fantastic job of disappearing into each of these very different characters. The script could use a bit of tightening up. Regrettably, although the movie has a light Christian worldview with some moral elements, the comedy is accompanied by lots of foul language and off-color, offensive humor and situations. Most of the crude, loutish behavior comes from the villains, but two of the people who help Norbit are former pimps, dressed in stereotypical, colorful street clothes. Although they own a rib joint, the two men take over a kissing booth at the town fair and talk about their former lifestyle a lot.
(C, BB, PaPa, Ab, LLL, VV, S, NN, A, M) Light Christian worldview with some strong moral content, including two Gospel songs and church weddings by a minister and mean, abusive and crooked villains are rebuked, but marred by blue material, fat jokes, strong pagan behavior (mostly by the villains but including some behavior by the protagonist and two of the people who help him), and two ex-pimps are named "Pope Sweet Jesus" and "Lord Have Mercy" but their names are not mentioned much; about 62 obscenities, eight strong profanities, four light profanities, protagonist says the initials "G.D." two times, and some toilet humor and flatulence; strong slapstick violence includes pratfalls, large girl bumps heads of twin boys together and throws them after they try to beat up another, smaller boy, woman struck in rear by an object thrown at her, man tossed through glass window, large woman flies through wooden wall, man beaten up and kicked, cheating wife threatens to pour acid on another woman's face to make husband stop helping her, large woman jumps on top of skinny husband several times (from a running start) and they bust their bed, large running woman roughly knocks down mail man while chasing her angry husband, etc.; non-depicted sex and sex references such as implied marital sex, man and woman set up an adulterous rendezvous at her house, man finds wife in bed with aerobics instructor so he decides to spend time with his childhood sweetheart, verbal references to strip clubs and being a pimp, a couple shots of a proposed strip club with suggestive name, two former pimps take over a kissing booth at a fair, and woman in skimpy clothes dances in a strip joint; upper male nudity, rear male nudity, female cleavage, and suggestive, revealing silhouette of skimpily clothed woman's upper body when she dances in a strip club and pulls a chain to let water splash on her from above, as in the movie FLASHDANCE; alcohol use; no smoking; and, miscellaneous immorality includes woman and her brothers imprison her husband in basement, extortion by villains, intimidation by villains, hero gets help from two shady characters, racial stereotypes, attempted fraud prevented, and Chinese man makes joke about selling his daughter for a yak back in China.
NORBIT is a comedy starring Eddie Murphy in three different roles. It opens with Norbit telling viewers how his parents literally threw him at the doorstep of the Golden Wonton Orphanage. Taken in by Mr. Wong, the owner, Norbit finds happiness as a child with his playmate Kate. Kate is soon adopted out, however. Bullied by other boys, Norbit is rescued by an overweight girl named Rasputia, who claims Norbit as her boyfriend, Norbit's protestations to the contrary. Norbit marries her, but her large, mean brothers take turns with Rasputia bullying him. Then, Kate returns to town wanting to buy Wong's orphanage. Kate has a fiancé, however, and the fiancé is secretly plotting with Rasputia's evil brothers to turn the orphanage into a strip joint.
Eddie Murphy not only plays Norbit. He also dons a big fat suit to play Rasputia and more makeup to play Mr. Wong. The makeup is excellent, and Murphy does a fantastic job of disappearing into each of these very different characters. Regrettably, although the movie has a light Christian worldview with some moral elements, the comedy is accompanied by lots of foul language and off-color humor.
** HOLLYWOOD BABYLON SECTION **