Dir: Reginald Hudlin, 1992
This 1992 Eddie Murphy vehicle, was his attempt to branch out and explore new ground.
Previously, his efforts had been action comedies, with the exception of Trading Places which was just comedy. Boomerang was Murphy’s chance to show a different side to him by opening up his acting range. He was now a leading man, in a romantic comedy.
Marcus Graham (Murphy) is an advertising executive, and philanderer.
With very little respect for women, Marcus thinks nothing of using them for sex and then ignoring them.
However, Marcus’s new boss, Jacqueline (Robin Givens), is a beautiful woman who treats Marcus the same way that he does women.
This treatment forces the chauvinist, to look at his attitude and re-evaluate his relationships with women.
You could look at it, as a romantic variation on his earlier Trading Places. Whereas that particular film dealt with money and class status as a role reversal took, Boomerang uses love and sex.
If there’s one thing that Murphy deserves credit for, it’s helping black entertainers get a head start in Hollywood. Throughout his career, many world famous actors and comedians, got their break in an Eddie Murphy movie. Beverly Hills Cop II featured a young Chris Rock. Coming To America had Cuba Gooding Jr. Eddie Murphy Raw featured Samuel L. Jackson, who, also, later appeared in Coming To America. Boomerang stars Martin Lawrence in a substantial role, and a larger part for Rock. Without Murphy’s input, they might still be unheard of.
The biggest flaw with this film, is that it just isn’t funny enough. There are a handful of good laughs, but they are few and far between. Aside from the odd smile, Boomerang is sorely lacking in real comedy.
Second to that, is the casting. Martin Lawrence and Chris Rock are two of the most annoying actors, around. As stand up comedians, their humour is bewildering and lame. Grossly unfunny in general, Lawrence and Rock are unable to deliver any humorous lines, merely causing irritation rather than guffaws.
Coupled with this, is the inclusion of Eartha Kitt and Grace Jones. As well as both being terrible actresses, neither Kitt nor Jones, possess the sexiness that the film alludes to. In an embarrassing scene, Kitt strips down to some lingerie in an attempt to seduce Marcus.
Although played for laughs, there is that sense that director Hudlin, allowed the erstwhile Catwoman to indulge in her own fantasies of still being desirable. Portraying fashion mogul, Strange, Jones is simply being herself, bad attitude et al.
Boomerang, is nothing more than so-so. Disappointing for a Murphy film, but on a par with other romantic comedies that plagued the 1990’s.
Occasionally amusing, but often dull, the movie won’t set your world on fire, but it may supply you with a modicum of pleasure for two hours. After that, it’s quickly forgotten about.