Why is it that a funny comedian such as Eddie Murphy repeatedly gets stuck in terrible comedies? It’s as if his agent hates him. From The Adventures of Pluto Nash to Daddy Day Care to Norbit, Murphy’s talent has been smothered by terrible dialogue and weak plots.
This time around, he plays the captain of an alien ship, which is disguised as a human being (named Dave Ming Cheng, which looks exactly like the captain, go figure). Along with his crew (which consists of Gabrielle Union, Ed Helms, Kevin Hart & Pat Kilbane), he goes to Earth to retrieve a meteor that could destroy the planet. Along the way, he meets Gina Morrison (Elizabeth Banks), who accidentally hits him with her car (and by him, I mean the robot). Ironically, her son Josh (Austyn Myers) captured the meteor after it crash-landed into his room. Unfortunately for Dave, he got it stolen by a bully.
This is where the comedy is supposed to come in. On Earth, Dave and his crew (from here on out I’m referring to the captain as Dave) try to adapt to how we humans act, which consists of weird smiles and coping with simple things as walking, talking and eating. Here’s where my central gripe comes in. During the duration of the film, we are to believe that the aliens don’t understand our lifestyle. Here’s the problem: they act and talk the same way we do. So, why is it hard for them to comprehend our actions? Why can’t they fathom how we greet and speak with each other? The answer is an attempt at comedy, which comes off as awkward instead of funny.
This isn’t the only plot taking place. Three unnecessary subplots wedge their way into the film. One of them is No. 3’s (Gabrielle Union) affection for Dave. The second one is No. 2 (Ed Helms) growing weary of Dave’s interest in the “grotest” humans instead of getting the job done. The third plot is lowly New York officers Dooley (Scott Caan) and Knox (Mike O’Malley) trying to uncover the truth regarding Dave. No. 2’s plot is the only one that feels like it belongs, but it’s poorly executed. The other two are superfluous and vexing.
Meet Dave is yet another movie to throw into Eddie Murphy’s junkyard of failure. The comedy doesn’t work, there’s too many extraneous plots and talent such as Murphy, Helms, Banks, Caan, Hart and Kilbane are wasted. Most of all, it’s 90 minutes in which I’ll never get back.