A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that although this Eddie Murphy comedy is mostly inoffensive, the alien characters display some off-putting stereotypes about gay men, women, and African Americans. The jokes aren't crass -- they're just cliched and stupid (for example, liking showtunes means you're flamboyantly homosexual, being black means you love rap, etc.). Otherwise, there's some scatological humor, a couple scenes of mild violence, some mild drinking and language, and a whole lot of product placements.
What's the story?
Eddie Murphy is the captain of a crew of miniature aliens that arrive on Earth in a ship formed exactly like a human-sized Eddie Murphy. On a mission to find a lost orb that can drain the oceans of salt, the human-like ship is accidentally struck by a single mother's (Elizabeth Banks) car. It turns out the driver's son knows who has the orb, so the alien-filled ship, now called "Dave Ming Chang," hangs out with the two humans until the rock can be retrieved. But the more the aliens are around humans, the less willing some of them are to rid Earth of its oceans.
Is it any good?
DAVE's ludicrous plot doesn't really matter. What does matter is why director Brian Robbins and Murphy reunited (Norbit was their last collaboration) for another completely forgettable, formulaic movie. There's no doubt that Murphy is a gifted comedian. So it's sad to see that he apparently gives zero thought to his film choices, making any comedy that will get his face on a billboard.
The tiny-aliens idea starts somewhat originally, but the jokes quickly turn to the stupid and stereotypical: A crew member sees a minute of the Broadway show A Chorus Line and starts acting flamboyantly gay, a black alien starts rapping and staring at women's behinds, the engineer becomes obsessed with social networking. And then there's the scene in which "Dave" excretes cash in an Old Navy dressing room. Is that the best that humanity has to offer?
Talk to your kids about ...
- In theaters: July 11, 2008
- On DVD or streaming: November 24, 2008
- Cast: Eddie Murphy, Elizabeth Banks, Gabrielle Union
- Director: Brian Robbins
- Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: Robots, Space and Aliens
- Run time: 95 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: bawdy and suggestive humor, action and some language.
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