Eddie Murphy is at it again, talking to the animals. (Maybe he's the only one
who can understand them, but take note of the fact that they are also forced to
listen to him.) His cinematic romp in search of an urban bear, long
acclimatized to the bright lights of the sideshow (a kind of comedic comrade),
involves a desperate attempt to mate a member of an endangered species with a
rural beauty (barely credible) and plays along a paper-thin excuse for
The animals once again take on ethnic color as they reveal their hidden
facility for making jokes. Eddie seems right at home in an ambiance where
animals come at his beck and call and he doesn't have to worry about a captive
audience. Not only the bears, but wolves, giraffes, weasels, chameleons,
tortoises, possums, raccoons, dogs, and owls are on their toes (or whatever
appendages they sport) listening to the words of their language-link to the
The mandatory toilet humor for such a film includes Eddie and Archie bear
trapped among fumes of a restaurant toilet together as well as Eddie's
professional "medical" description of intestinal hibernation plug.
(Kinky bears.) Of course, it will probably be the good doctor who laughs most
of all, considering that the 1998 remake (with Murphy appearing for the first
time in the role previously portrayed by Rex Harrison) grossed over $290
million and this EM sequel will probably do likewise. That ain't no hogfeed.
But this sequel is also a family drama (or so it pretends). Watching the
Darwinian evolution of Mr. Murphy as he turns into a creature making a new
millennium bid for the Cosby-family-lookalike suddenly gives a new appeal and
impetus to both animal activists and animal activists either organizing or
setting up a strike.
After viewing this menagerie, the new censorship board might seriously
consider extending their coded symbols to include a new category restricting
specific films for anyone over ten years of age.
© 1994-2006 The Green Hartnett