Put Your Weight on it

Rudy Ray Moore was a bad motherfucker.  Not Shaft bad, but bad. You don’t have to shut your mouth about it either. Rudy would want you to say it. He’d want you to shout it.  He wanted to be a star and set out, by sheer force of will, to become one.  He wasn’t at all concerned about which field he achieved stardom in, just so long as he did achieve it. He tried his hand as a singer, dancer, stand-up comic, producer,  and actor.  His magnum opus, Dolemite, is the thing that made him, if not a household name, famous.
It’s easy to see why Eddie Murphy would be drawn to the story of Rudy Ray Moore. Murphy also made the journey from stand-up to action star. To be fair, Murphy’s stardom was on a much grander scale.  In Dolemite is My Name Murphy puts on some very wide lapels to inhabit Moore.

DiMN is  a biopic (the most Oscar-bait of all the Oscar-bait categories there are), but it’s a different sort of biopic. It’s an R-rated comedy, which certainly feels like it belongs in Murphy’s wheelhouse. It also, strangely, has no actual villain.  This is the tale of how Rudy Ray Moore believed in himself, and a lot of other people believed in him, and some people tried to help him even if they didn’t believe, and a few corporate types didn’t believe in him and didn’t want to help him but also didn’t try to stop him either.  There’s no heavy in that story.

DiMN doesn’t seem to care that it doesn’t have a bad guy. The audience shouldn’t care either. 

This movie is being called a comeback for Eddie Murphy. That seems fair. He hasn’t made a film in three years, and for a decade before that he was paychecking most of the time. This project seems like something he actually cares about. You can see that on the screen.  Eddie Murphy is a bad motherfucker too.