I still can’t believe it. We have a Rudy! Ray! Moore! biopic. I got into exploitation stuff in college primarily around the release of Grindhouse. In THOSE days, I still had a VHS player with me at college, so I rented whatever I could from my college library. This feels odd now in a way. Do college libraries still have a pile of media?
Regardless, my college had a DEEP library of VHS’s. So, they of course had the usual suspects. But one of them was Dolemite. And….Holy! Shit! Wow.
Rudy Ray Moore is a force of fucking nature. He’s one of these characters that is just fucking larger than life. And that whole movie is completely insane in the best possible way. Its one of these things that is so incredible that I wish I thought of it.
So, when they announced Dolemite Is My Name, I couldnt fucking believe it. Like, usually people make biopics about clean, positive role models. And for the first time, someone read my mind and was like, “You know who needs a biopic, Rudy Ray Moore.”
And it does exactly what it says on the tin. It is a completely kickass biopic of Rudy Ray Moore. And I am so glad to have it. Lets start off with the obvious stuff.
Everyone is right. This is Eddie Murphy‘s return to form. Lets cut to live footage of Eddie Murphy in this role.
I will take it one step further. Everyone in this movie looks like they not only wanted to be there, but were really passionate about the project. The cast is STACKED and everyone from Craig Robinson to Wesley Snipes. In fact, Snipes gives a performance so good, its like the IRS is still on his back.
The script here is entirely configured to make this movie the feel good film of the year. And that’s pretty much what it is. I heard someone describe it as a party film. And that’s what it is. Its just a really good fucking time. I don’t think I walked away with any more insights into who Rudy Ray Moore was as a person than I already had. But that’s not really what this film is about. Its about being fucking awesome.
Same with Craig Brewer’s direction. Its not flashy like Black Snake Moan. Its very straightforward. A little flat if anything, but that totally works for a Rudy Ray Moore biopic.
This movie is powered by the cult of personality, and it totally wouldn’t work if this was a story about anybody but Rudy Ray Moore. It most definitely occupies his spirit. Its filled with raunch, boobies, and explosions.
If I had to say anything negative about it, its about 15-25 min too long. It has a few small parts that drag, and the jokes they pick from Rudy’s albums aren’t always the best (probably cause they don’t want to go to some of the real strong stuff. And I get it.
My wife once asked me if there is anything (music, movies, books, etc) that I liked that wasn’t fucking depressing. Well, here you go. Sometimes you need the shit works out right movie and be awesome the whole fucking way through.
Last note, the film is dedicated to Charlie Murphy. This should come as no surprise. He was a huge fan. I kind of wonder if Eddie thought Charlie should play Rudy Ray. You know, maybe I am wrong about the void. Maybe there is somewhere positive you go. And maybe when Charlie walked through doors. Instead of hearing any of the Chappelle show stuff, he got to hear those magic words….
3.5/4 – Definitely the feel good movie of the year. Just go watch it. It’ll make you feel better already.