Adventures of Pluto Nash [2002]

The Adventures of Pluto Nash was shelved for nearly two years, and when it was finally released, hardly anyone noticed. In the interim, Eddie Murphy made the marginally better Showtime and started fishing for a career revival that wasn't a sequel to his previous hits. In the satirical, lunar-colony hash of Pluto Nash, Murphy's a variant of Casablanca's Rick Blaine in the year 2087, happily running the moon's hottest nightclub, refusing a buyout offer from a greedy gambler, and suffering the consequences with his sidekick robot (Randy Quaid in yet another thankless role) and newest employee (Rosario Dawson, before doing similar time in Men in Black II). A visual hybrid of Total Recall and A.I., this nearly laughless comedy would be a total write-off if it weren't for Murphy's stalwart attempt to jump-start the flagging humor. He's got the chops of a superstar, but only when his collaborators are on the same page. --Jeff Shannon

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