Usually, actors who are up for Oscars wait until after they’ve bagged the golden baldie before they follow it up with a real stinker (Catwoman, anyone?). Eddie Murphy obviously decided to get a head start – and then lost anyway – with Norbit, his latest fat-suit tumbleweeder. Murphy plays shy Norbit, trying to ditch his monstrous wife Rasputia (Murphy, again) so he can pursue Kate (Thandie Newton).
Ditching the warmth running through the Nutty Professor movies, Norbit is powered purely by flab gags, spousal abuse and racist caricatures. The only person to emerge with any glory intact is SFX genius Rick Baker (An American Werewolf In London), whose prosthetics work is wasted on this tired fare. While Murphy still knows how to play OTT characters, Rasputia is – like the film she fills – about as comedic as pubic crabs. It’s time to send his padded-suit cash cow to the slaughter yard.