Rudy Ray Moore (Eddie Murphy) has always wanted to be famous. Since his records didn’t get any airplay, he found himself as the assistant manager at a record store. He still isn’t ready to give up, though. He spends his nights trying his hand at comedy working at a bar introducing bands.
Rudy reinvents himself as a character called Dolemite. When he introduces Dolemite to the crowd at the bar, they go wild. With the help of his friends, he records an album. When no labels will distribute the album, he and his friends put it out themselves.
When his album becomes a hit, Rudy wants more. He wants to make a Dolemite movie. He has the character and he knows what the audience wants – action, titties, and kung fu – he just needs someone to write the script. He hires Jerry Jones (Keegan-Michael Key), a local playwright. He also hires D’Urville Martin (Wesley Snipes), a famous actor, to direct the film and star opposite him. With the script and director in place, Rudy and his friends set out to make the most epic movie ever.
Dolemite is My Name is based on the true story Rudy Ray Moore’s quest for fame and how he became the star of several blaxploitation movies in the 70s.
The cast of this film is top notch. Eddie Murphy is back and as good as he was in his prime. The material feels natural on Murphy, feeling almost like it could have been a story about his own rise to fame. The raunchiness of the character is something Murphy knows as well as anyone. Alongside Murphy are the likes of Wesley Snipes, Tituss Burgess, Keegan-Michael Key, Craig Robinson, Mike Epps, and Da’Vine Joy Randolph. Everyone absolutely nails their roles. Cameos by Snoop Dogg and Chris Rock are just icing on the cake.
While Dolemite doesn’t have the distinction of being the worst movie ever, like The Room, this movie has a similar feel to The Disaster Artist. Both detail a filmmaker intent on creating a movie that is their passion project. Dolemite is My Name is a much better telling of the story than The Disaster Artist. Part of it is due to the movie being made itself. But the majority of the films success lies in the script and the cast. The humor is crude and vulgar, and it is nonstop. The entire cast kills it in every scene, leaving you laughing out loud for most of the movie. There is very little downtime where something magical isn’t happening on screen. And there are even fewer times where the jokes don’t hit.
While I haven’t seen the movie that inspired Dolemite is My Name, I definitely want to now. If it is anywhere near as outrageous as it looks from this movie, I don’t think it will disappoint. If Dolemite is My Name comes to a theater near you, definitely go see it. Otherwise, you can catch it on Netflix.