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The 52 Worst Films of the 2000s

Movies You Aught Not Watch: The Adventures of Pluto Nash

Movies You Aught Not Watch is Nick Rogers’ weekly, alphabetical look at the 52 worst films from 2000 to 2009.


“The Adventures of Pluto Nash”
Rated PG-13
2002

When Eddie Murphy flashed his mega-watt smile and bristled with daringly risqué racial-identity energy in “48 Hrs.,” he probably never thought he’d willingly star in something as boring and unnecessary as 2002’s “The Adventures of Pluto Nash.”

Or “Holy Man.” Or “Vampire in Brooklyn.” Or “Metro.” Or “Showtime.” Or “Norbit.” Good God, has there ever been a superstar whose slide into lazy mediocrity was more torturous to behold?

“Pluto Nash” casts Murphy as a hotshot ex-con who runs the biggest nightclub in Little America — a city on the moon circa the late 21st century. After Nash rejects a buyout from Rex Crater — an enigmatic entrepreneur wanting to open numerous casinos — he’s marked for death, and his long boring chase of Crater continually picks up supporting actors who needed to pay for decks, game rooms or alimony.

“Pluto Nash” is set in 2087 — or approximately 100 years after writer Neil Cuthbert last bothered to touch up his script. Murphy did zero publicity for the film, whose two-year delay was explained away by “complex visual effects.” Please check eBay listings for a bridge to buy if you find these visual effects even remotely complex.

Admittedly, watching Randy Quaid (as Nash’s robot bodyguard) whip out two hand cannons a la John Woo achieves priceless strangeness. And Alec Baldwin, in a cameo, shows he was able to laugh at himself long before “30 Rock.” But his 30-second bit isn’t worth the trouble. Neither is a strangely apropos scene in which Murphy strangles himself.

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6 Responses to “Movies You Aught Not Watch: The Adventures of Pluto Nash”

  1. [...] I feel that I have gone on way too long. I could easily go on about how the love interest is just absurd, the plot makes no sense, the supporting characters feel more like marionettes than actors, or the verbal vomit that is Brian Austin Green’s acting ability. But I will spare you the time it would take to read my thoughts. All you should know is that I beg, nay, plead you to please not watch “Cross.” I would be more inclined to have a back-to-back viewing of “Gigli” and “The Adventures of Pluto Nash.” [...]

  2. Nick Rogers says:

    joel: This is prime Servo & Crow territory indeed.

    Joe: Yeah, "Old Dogs" is one that I’ve not seen, but that I understand is so bad it certainly merits catching up for worst-list consideration. A movie that underperformed so badly that it killed both another Robin Williams movie at Disney AND a "Wild Hogs" sequel.

  3. Joe Shearer says:

    One more thing about Robin Williams 2009 (and I’m aware of "World’s Greatest Dad," though I haven’t yet seen it): Human Puppet.

  4. joel says:

    aww, come on guys! the only thing this movie was missing for oscar gold was the silhouettes of two wjse-cracking robots and their human friend.

  5. Nick Rogers says:

    Joe: Agreed, although at least Robin Williams does a compelling live-action 180 every so often ("August Rush," "The Night Listener," "The Final Cut," "One-Hour Photo"). Don’t worry, though. He gets some hate-love on this list later in the year. The closest Eddie Murphy has, and likely will, ever come to such a feat is "Dreamgirls," in which he was good, but hampered by ridiculous costumes, hair and makeup.

  6. Joe Shearer says:

    The answer to your question: no, but Robin Williams comes close.