A Thousand Words | Film review
Eddie Murphy’s new comedy is better than Norbit. That’s progress!
Eddie Murphy in A Thousand Words
Before it devolves into a soggy New Age sermon, A Thousand Words offers a few fleeting reminders of the gifted physical comedian Eddie Murphy once was. The aging, loquacious funnyman plays a motermouthed literary agent who gets a crash course in holding his tongue after a mystical Bodhi tree sprouts up in his backyard. Every word he speaks (or writes) costs him a leaf; if all the leaves fall, he croaks. The high concept breeds low comedy—and Deepak Chopra–style spiritual baloney—but Murphy manages sporadically inspired bits of pantomime. One can see faint flickers, in a cocked eyebrow or clenched jaw, of the mad comic genius who prowled the stage in 1987’s Raw. His best shot at reviving those glory days would be to drop hack director Brian Robbins (Norbit, Meet Dave) like a superfluous sentence.