I haven’t felt this good about a movie with a majority black cast since Black Panther. It’s not just my delight in Eddie Murphy’s return to film, but because Dolemite Is My Name should be seen to appreciate a man whose movies were never meant to be seen — at least not outside the African American communities in Los Angeles.
Murphy, who became an instant icon when he was cast at age 19 on “Saturday Night Live” and later starred in blockbusters such as Beverly Hills Cop and Coming to America, now shines as another icon: Rudy Ray Moore. An Arkansas-born singer and comedian, Moore combined stubbornness, charm and an unfaltering belief in himself and in black people to become a superstar of blaxploitation films as the character Dolemite, a pimp with a big gut and even bigger dreams.
Murphy and the supporting cast gel wonderfully in this hilarious, raunchy, heartfelt salute. Welcome back, Eddie! You’re right on time.
Now playing at Grail Moviehouse