Friday, June 12, 2009

"Imagine That" (2009, Karey Kirkpatrick)

Eddie Murphy must be the youngest-looking 48-years-old actor I have ever seen. Compare his face to that, say, of James Gandolfini, or even to that of his Imagine That (2009) co-star, Thomas Haden Church - you could never tell all three of them were born in 1961.

Murphy's youth is vital in Imagine That, a story of reinventing yourself as a child to become a better father. Murphy has both the goofiness that enables him to do the former, and the stature to pull off the latter. He's the coolest dad you'll ever see.

The movie is about a corporate businessman getting investing tips from his 9-years-old daughter. The tips come from the world of her child imagination, but prove to be surprisingly effective. What the film does, it tries to reconcile the world of wonder and the world of money. Unfortunately, what the screenwriters perceived as an act of redeeming moneymaking by likening it to a fairy tale, often proves to degrade fairy tales, instead, by "justifying" them as a valid moneymaking strategy.

Thomas Haden Church plays a Native American corporate villain that borders more than once on a racist portrayal, only to be disclaimed by the end by means of a sudden ethnic twist (Church's character is proven to be Finnish-Armenian, which adds insult to injury, especially if you're a Finn or an Armenian yourself).

But still, the movie is easy-going and fun, and if you were wondering what would happen if one would merge the faces of John Travolta and Charles Bronson together, then Thomas Haden Church's mug is your living and breathing answer. And howgh.

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