Going Nuts

The lunatics have taken over the asylum.

After the success of the original "Nutty Professor", Eddie Murphy's back in yet another sequel. And while the original did at least display some sparks of genuine humour and creativity, the sequel has almost none of either.

First, the plot: Professor Sherman Klump (Eddie Murphy) has invented a miraculous potion that can reverse the aging process and restore youth, and is all set to make millions by licensing his invention to a large pharmaceutical company. He's also finally worked up the courage to propose to his sweetheart Denise Gaines (Janet Jackson), and is overjoyed when she accepts. All is well...except that his nasty alter-ego, Buddy Love, keeps popping up from Sherman's subconscious and playing havoc with his life.

After a particularly embarrassing evening, Sherman decides to put an end to Buddy once and for all, by genetically removing him from his DNA. Through a complex mishmash of events, the genetic code containing the Buddy Love persona turns into a real, live Buddy Love, who is intent on stealing Sherman's secret youth formula and selling it himself for millions. To add to this, Sherman's impromptu exorcism affects his own genetic makeup, slowly causing him to lose his intelligence and regress to a child-like state...

It's hard to make a story as silly as this fly - and the task is made even harder by the introduction of Sherman's grotesque family, the Klumps from whence the film gets its title. Overweight, ugly, and with a penchant for toilet humour and graphic sexual fantasies, this has to be one of the most unpleasant families ever to hit the silver screen, and the moronic family conversations quickly become both tedious and repetitive.

Eddie Murphy (who, incidentally, plays the entire Klump family in addition to the Professor himself) does a great job of representing each family member's traits and characteristics (warts and all), but the most sympathetic character is by far Klump himself. Janet Jackson's role is limited (although she did contribute a great song to the soundtrack), and one can't help feeling that the loud and annoying Klumps have overshadowed what could have been a stronger performance from her. Easily avoidable!

This article was first published on 03 Jan 2001.