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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, October 30, 2002

New Eddie Murphy film coming

"The Adventures of Pluto Nash," slow in coming out, didn't achieve box-office success.

Advertiser library photo

By Susan King
Los Angeles Times

HOLLYWOOD — It's been a rough year for Eddie Murphy. First his buddy-cop comedy "Showtime" with Robert De Niro failed to make waves with either critics or movie goers. Then his next film, the $100-million-plus "The Adventures of Pluto Nash," took two years to come out and wasn't even screened for critics.

And early reviews of his newest film, the action comedy "I Spy," which opens Friday, haven't been very encouraging.

The action comedy is very, very loosely based on the 1965-68 NBC action series, which broke the color barrier for dramatic television series. "I Spy" was the first non-comedy series to star an African-American actor, Bill Cosby. He won three consecutive Emmy Awards for his performance as Alexander Scott.

The movie version, directed by Betty Thomas, who also directed "The Brady Bunch Movie" and Murphy's "Doctor Dolittle," is played strictly for laughs. Murphy takes on the Robinson role — in this incarnation, a womanizing middleweight boxing champion — and Owen Wilson is Scott, a crackerjack secret agent who is shy around the ladies. They team up to recover a state-of-the-art reconnaissance aircraft from an arms dealer (Malcolm McDowell).

Still, don't count Murphy out. He's had great box-office success with his remakes of famous films such as "The Nutty Professor."