x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Imagine That

Twenty years ago, no one would have imagined that the electrifying, "raw" comedian Eddie Murphy would reinvent himself as a specialist in family entertainment.

Twenty years ago, no one would have imagined that the electrifying, "raw" comedian Eddie Murphy would reinvent himself as a specialist in family entertainment. Unless - that is - they had a "Goo-gaa", a blanket that conjures up invisible friends with magical powers, like Eddie's on screen daughter does here. Olivia's parents assume she's making this up because she's affected by their separation, but the stockbroker Evan (Murphy) changes his mind when his little girl's imaginary playmates start supplying him with the hottest tips on Wall Street. All he has to do is play along and figure out how to sell Olivia's infantile - but on-the-money - business reports to his clients. You won't need a crystal ball - or a Goo-gaa - to figure out that Evan needs to stop worrying about money and redirect his energies towards his family. Ironically, though, Imagine That dedicates so much time to high finance, it will most likely bore the same younger viewers who dragged Dad to the movie in the first place. While Murphy submits wearily to the script's contrived but not unpleasant humiliations, Thomas Haden Church steals the film as Evan's conniving rival. As for the source of Olivia's knowledge, the filmmakers never bother to explain it.