Universal // 2000 // 107 Minutes // Rated PG-13
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // August 9th, 2007
The Klumps are back. And no one missed them.
Eddie Murphy's follow-up to his successful updating of The Nutty Professor returns once more to torment you, this time in crushing high-definition.
Sherman Klump (Eddie Murphy), the brilliant genetic researcher from the first film, returns with a massive hard-on for his colleague, the comely Professor Denise Gaines (Janet Jackson). With visions of marriage and happy living in his head, Sherman is oblivious to the inner threat his id-centric a-hole alter-ego Buddy Love (Murphy again) poses.
Billy manages to bubble up through Sherman's psyche at the most inopportune times, forcing the plump scientist to finally discover a way to evict the ne'er-do-well.
Of course it backfires. Through a huge helping of disbelief-suspension, Billy materializes into the physical world, instantly causing all sorts of problems for Sherman, his relationship, his family and, most importantly, a hundred-million dollar serum that reverses the aging process.
I would rather move to Iran and start a Bible study class than sit through the dreck again. The first Nutty Professor was lame but tolerable and Eddie Murphy's version of character musical chairs was fun to watch. But this follow-up is as excruciating as sitting in a make-up chair for five hours.
The Klumps is precisely the type of comedy that I have grown to loathe in my crotchety years. Packed with cop-out fart jokes, an overwrought score, and the assumption that funny faces and forehead-vein-throbbing screaming are a good enough substitute for a genuinely funny script, this pathetic excuse for a studio laugh-fest only evokes resentment and nausea.
Eddie Murphy is obviously the main attraction here, or, rather Eddie Murphy's willingness to undergo countless hours under latex and a fat suit. Credit where credit's due, you have to give the man props for his willingness to go all-out in the hopes of entertaining (or salvaging a slumping comedy career). The guy pours all his energy into the multiple characters (he plays Buddy Love and all the members of the family save for the fat kid) and manages to distinguish them from each other. His most memorable turn is probably Grandma, but only because she's a foul-mouthed old lady with saggy boobs, and we all know what fertile comic territory that can be.
But goofy characters are really only as funny as the material they have to work with, and aside from a smattering of decent lines, the writing is an unfunny cluster-F. To start, there's an over-reliance of stupid fart jokes, which in principle I have no problem with, but the broad humor is so juvenile that it just shouts "Yeah, we couldn't think of anything funny to write, so we're just going to have this fat lady pass gas." There's a lot of toilet humor here, and the overuse of facial urination, exploding stomach gas, erection jokes and hamster sodomy renders The Klumps borderline inappropriate for younger audiences. Actually, it's inappropriate anyway because it sucks so bad, but we might as well pile on.
Last thing to mention before I put this thing to bed: the plot. I've seen my share of ludicrous storylines in comedies, but the nonsensical sludge that makes up the narrative in The Klumps causes trauma to my brain just trying to figure out what the @#$% is going on. All I know is that a grown man can emerge from a puddle of Nickelodeon slime and by the end of the movie Sherman Klump is drinking water out of a public fountain.
The movie is ass, but the HD treatment is passable. As the disc recycles extras that have appeared elsewhere it all lands to the video and audio treatments to carry the day. Good news, then: the film looks and sounds great. The 1.85:1 (1080p, VC-1 encoded) anamorphic widescreen is clean and detailed, sporting a vibrant color scheme, which is especially evident in the handful of scenes in Klump's laboratory. The only downside to the improved look is the betrayal of some spotty CGI work, notably in the hamster expansion and goopy Buddy Love sequences toward the end. The TrueHD soundtrack is active and crystal-clear as are the complementary Dolby Digital Plus mixes. Extras are ported from the standard DVD: a dull commentary by director Peter Segal, additional commentary with Segal and producer Brian Grazer, a solid making-of feature ("Spotlight on Location"), an extended and deleted scene, time-lapsed views of the make-up chair, storyboard comparisons, Janet Jackson's music video and an outtake collection, which, like the credits-ending blooper reel, is funnier than anything that happened in the actual film.
This space for rent.
An attractive hi-def picture and good sound-work did nothing to temper my anger at this bloated, intrusive, laugh-free cornhole of a comedy. A waste of Eddie Murphy's versatility.
Do us all a favor and climb back into the test tube where you came from.
Review content copyright © 2007 David Johnson; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
* 1.85:1 Anamorphic
* TrueHD 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 Surround (French)
Running Time: 107 Minutes
Release Year: 2000
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13
* Director's Commentary
* Producer and Director's Commentary
* "Spotlight on Location" Making-of Documentary
* Deleted Scene
* Extended Scene
* Time-Lapsed Make-up Featurette
* Storyboards Comparison
* Music Video