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a_thousant_words_04“A Thousand Words” is billed as a comedy but I see it as something else entirely. I see it as a tragedy—a tragic waste of Eddie Murphy’s talent. He’s in virtually every scene but his wide eyed mugging for the camera—there hasn’t been this on-screen mugging since the first “Death Wish” movie (only movie geeks will get that joke)—isn’t funny, it’s annoying.

Reteaming with “Norbet” director Brian Robins, Eddie Murphy plays Jack McCall, a fast talking literary agent who doesn’t read and who double-crosses new age guru Dr. Sinja (Cliff Curtis) on a book deal. Soon after, a magical Bodhi tree erupts through the ground in Jack’s backyard. The tree will shed one leaf for every word McCall says, and after one thousand leaves have fallen, the true nature of the tree’s curse will be revealed.

“A Thousand Words” is such an unpleasant movie going experience that the loud fire alarm that rang intermittently in the theatre during the film was a welcome relief to what was happening on screen. At least the fire alarm had some element of urgency to it, unlike the film, which seemed to think that allowing Murphy to pull faces at the camera for ninety minutes was enough to flesh out the story.

When the best joke in the movie is “I’m going to the ashram and ram this up his a**,” you begin to understand why this movie has been sitting on a shelf for four years awaiting a release date.

I can sum up my thoughts on “A Thousand Words” in far less than a thousand words: Don’t go. Save your money.

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