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Imagine That review

Distracted and over-worked, businessman Evan (Eddie Murphy) finds he can expand his portfolio and defeat the office jackass (Thomas Haden Church) by exploiting his daughter Olivia’s (Yara Shahidi) vivid imagination.

Using her ‘magic’ blanket as a conduit – stay with us here – Evan needles her invisible princess friends for financial advice that turns out to be right on the money.

It’s a novel premise, but an unworkable one; smaller kids may warm to the extended bouts of daddy-daughter make-believe (intriguingly pixel-free), but not the swathes of corporate politics. Ponderous pacing and predictable conscience-finding hardly help.

Unable to elevate a walking cliché – the parent with misplaced priorities – Murphy flails his arms and falls down a lot, but all attention will be on nine-year-old Shahidi, the movie’s saving grace.

Wide-eyed but not big-gobbed, the young actress brings surprising charm and warmth to a role that really only requires her to cackle with glee as she pours mustard on to pancakes.

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