""You usually can’t tell when a movie is going to be shit, but on that one you could. And I think Ron Underwood, the director, got victimized by that, because that guy is good. But because of the material and the style in which some players came to work, we were off the mark, you know? A lot of hanky-panky going on there. So, I wasn’t surprised. I was surprised it turned out to be better than I thought it was going to be.""— Joe Pantoliano
The Adventures of Pluto Nash
""The Adventures of Pluto Nash is neither adventurous nor funny, and Eddie Murphy is on autopilot in this notorious box office bomb.""— Rotten Tomatoes
The Adventures of Pluto Nash is a 2002 American science fiction action comedy film directed by Ron Underwood (the director of Tremors and City Slickers) and starring Eddie Murphy (in a dual role), Randy Quaid, Rosario Dawson, Joe Pantoliano, Jay Mohr, Luis Guzman, James Rebhorn, Peter Boyle, Pam Grier, and John Cleese.
The film is known to be one of the biggest box office bombs of all time (only making $7.1 million of its $100 million budget) as well as being universally panned by moviegoers and critics alike and has appeared on several lists of worst films ever made. This film is widely considered to be one of or arguably Eddie Murphy's worst movie that he ever starred in, and one of the worst movies of 2002.
"Pluto Nash" is an action comedy set on the moon in the year 2087, starring Eddie Murphy as the title character, an audacious nightclub owner who finds himself in hot water when he refuses to sell his club to the local mob. The lunar gangsters are helping the mysterious Rex Crater mastermind a plan to take over the moon.
Why Obviously, It Did Something Stupid
- The plot is extremely dull, especially for something built around the seedy underworld in the future on the moon that makes Star Wars and Star Trek look like parodies.
- The jokes tend to focus on robot sex humor (such as the robotic maid constantly bending over to show her crotch & the android not wanting to get a euphemism for a penis length) or "space" jokes (as in things are different because its space).
- Pluto is supposed to be a successful nightclub owner, but the opening scene doesn't give that much credibility.
- It suffers from the generic clichéd sci-fi genres including the critically panned Battlefield Earth.
- The acting is horrid, even from acclaimed actors like Eddie Murphy and John Cleese. While other actors sound like they could nail it in their sleep (as the Nostalgia Critic described), Rosario Dawson seems to be the only one trying.
- A key part that was heavily advertised in the promotion of the film was the characters trying to get disguises where they are transformed (with CGI) into hypothetical designs. Only two are used (bodybuilders & tribesmen) and both are visually unpleasant.
- All of the characters are very obnoxious and unlikable, especially Pluto Nash.
- Plot progression is weak. A scene where the characters crash and run out of oxygen is immediately solved by a passing space turnip truck.
- How the mobsters cloned Rex from Pluto's appendix is very confusing. Consequently, when Pluto and Rex fought, it was very difficult to tell who was who, especially when they're wearing the exact same suit!
- The reasoning for Rex is even more confounding than how he was created in the first place, as the mobsters wanted to kill Pluto and replace him with a person who looked, sounded, acted, and dressed exactly like Pluto but were favorable to the mafia. Usually, in fiction, the mafia would kill the owner, buy the property in liquidation, and put an associate in charge.
- Star Eddie Murphy hated the film to the point he refused to promote the film (which some say killed the film even more), while Alec Baldwin hated the film so much that he went uncredited.
- Worse than from the previous point, due to this film's failure, Ron Underwood hasn't directed another theatrical film and shifted to doing only television.
- The effects used on the hovering cars didn't hold up in the slightest.
- At one point, Randy Quaid's character, Bruno, gets stalked by a robotic slot machine who acts very creepy, as if she's turned on by him. He ends up breaking it, and the slot machine calls him an "animal", which is very hypocritical of her.
- Speaking of Randy Quaid, his performance as Bruno is extremely horrific, due to him being very monotone at best.
- The soundtrack by John Powell is decent.
- The universe has a bit of a Blade Runner feel to it as a parody.
- In the film's climax, it was amusing to watch Pluto throw Rex out of a window to his death.
- Rosario Dawson was the only actor that seemed to have tried when it came to her performance.
- The effects used to create the landscape of the Moon is actually spectacular.
The Adventures of Pluto Nash was universally panned by critics and moviegoers alike. Rotten Tomatoes ranked the film 79th in the 100 worst 2000s decade movies list, with a rating of 4% based on 90 reviews. The critical consensus states, "The Adventures of Pluto Nash is neither adventurous nor funny, and Eddie Murphy is on autopilot in this notorious box office bomb.". On Metacritic, it holds a 12 out of 100 based on 12 reviews, meaning “overwhelming dislike”.
- Jennifer Lopez and Halle Berry were the first and second choices for the role of Dina, but both passed on the part. Berry declined because the filming schedule clashed with her wedding.
- Robot Chicken eventually made a skit out of this film parodying the reactions of the filmmakers, executives, and audience to that film.
- Different writers were hired to revise the script over a period of several months, but Eddie Murphy "kept rejecting the scripts," according to Underwood. Murphy asked for a "straight" script, like one that would be written for Sylvester Stallone or Harrison Ford, and said that he would "bring the comedy."
- Evan Fong also known as VanossGaming mocked the movie.
- Ron Underwood would later express his regret over making the movie, as he stated that it "didn't have a "core piece of storytelling like the mid-life crisis".
- Eddie Murphy later admitted that he only starred in this disaster for the money only, and that he would mock his appearance in it during an interview with Barbara Walters by stating, "I know the two or three people that liked this movie."