This is apparently Eddie Murphy’s last good movie before a string of disappointments. I don’t really know if I’d consider this to be good. OK, maybe. I know I will never forgive Boomerang for giving me a mental image of Murphy having sex. I’m only 29, too young to see such things.
Boomerang is a middling romantic comedy. Nothing really special, though it does have some solid performances and funny one liners. Murphy isn’t at his best, mostly because his performance appears to be toned down to fit the rom-com genre. In fact, his isn’t even the most memorable performance in this movie. That honor goes to Grace Jones, who gives a hysterical performance as an over-the-top fashion model. She’s basically parodying herself, but the great effect. David Alan Grier and Martin Lawrence are very funny as Murphy’s friends, and Robin Givens is perfect as an early love interest/foil to Murphy’s player persona. Halle Berry also co-stars, but her character is quite bland and forgettable.
I think the biggest issue I have with this movie is that I don’t really believe Eddie Murphy as a suave playboy. He just doesn’t strike me as romantic lead material. A non-conventional cop, sure. A foreign prince seeking his future queen, yep. A wisecracking donkey, absolutely. But here… not so much. He’s handsome enough and funny enough, but he’s missing some quality that I can’t quite put my finger on.
Remember when Eddie Murphy was a comedy legend? He could do no wrong throughout the 80s and early 90s, then he made one stinker after another and faded into obscurity until we all remembered how funny he was when he voiced an animated donkey in some ogre film. Boomerang is one of the last films Murphy made that I would call funny. He is very charming as the womanising marketing executive Marcus Graham who is given a taste of his own medicine. He does not rely solely on his own comedic talents for this movie though, he surrounds himself with a who’s who of up and coming black actors like Halle Berry, Martin Lawrence, David Alan Grier, and even Chris Rock turns up in a minor role.
The film revolves around Murphy’s character falling for his new boss, Jacqueline Broyer (Robin Givens), after years of being a playboy and sleeping with a different woman every night, he is smitten by Jacqueline and begins to consider settling down with her. When she dismisses their hook up as a one night stand, Marcus finally knows what it is like to be treated the way he has been treating women for years. It is an interesting plot point, to see a woman be sexually promiscuous like men would’ve been somewhat confronting when this film was made in the early 90s. Things have changed a lot since then, but even now, women still have a gender role as the homemaker who only sleeps with the man she loves. Givens is clearly having a lot of fun as Eddie Murphy’s new man eater boss. They have good chemistry together. You feel bad for Murphy though, this film has managed to reverse the typical gender roles seen in films. Murphy is the lovestruck ‘naïve young lady’ seen in every generic romantic comedy, fawning over his new relationship, while Givens is the ‘ladies man’ type not ready to settle down.
Like I said, this film is actually very funny. I bought it years ago when I went through an Eddie Murphy phase and purchased nearly all of his films. I’m glad I own this though, this is not going to be like when I have to review Daddy Day Care– I actually enjoyed this film. Murphy is charming and ably supported by a solid cast of future stars. This is not Murphy’s best film or anywhere near it, but it is a decent enough comedy that is worth seeing if you have nothing better to do.