The film, directed by Craig Brewer, stars Eddie Murphy as Rudy Ray Moore, Da’Vine Joy Randolph as Lady Reed, Weasley Snipes as D’Urville Martin, with performances by Keegan-Michael Key, Chris Rock, Mike Epps, Snoop Dogg, Tituss Burgess, Craig Robinson and more.
The movie tells the story about the resilient Rudy Ray Moore, singer/rapper, nightclub act, comedian, who does whatever it takes to finish his dream movie—a blaxploitation comedy surrounding Rudy’s Dolemite act!
The underdog story is a common one, but in this case, it’s made not so common with its comedic timing and cinematography by Eric Steelberg. The film is entertaining but especially befitting with the undertones of the 2019 culture also reflected by a 1970 Los Angeles, showing the rise and fall of those who dare to dream.
There’s a touching scene that hits home when Lady Reed and Rudy Ray Moore—who go from co-hosting a live sketch to starring in a self-produced film—engage in a heartfelt conversation. Lady Reed thanks Rudy for putting her in his movie. She has never seen herself represented on screen. Sound familiar? The movie is filled with relatable scenarios and inspirational dialogue between friends who have the heart for producing but not quite the resources.
When D’Urville openly criticized Rudy’s film, often referring to it as not a “real movie,” he flees the production site seconds after the final scene wraps. He coldly downplays the hard work and dedication of Rudy’s cast and crew. But what follows his dramatic exit as he laughingly adds that the movie will likely not have a premiere, is a necessary scene for anyone serious enough about creating their own content.
Eddie Murphy has not lost his hilarious touch in film. Even after constantly playing the funny guy, he still brings something fresh to the screen and that’s found in Rudy’s resilience and perseverance. Rudy is surrounded by love and support—thankfully—after being abused during his childhood and told “no” into his adult years. It’s the final bit of strength rooted in his pain that he uses to complete the project.
The film is a 1970 version of today’s DIY: Do It Yourself mentality. This Strong Black Lead might be the lead of the year as you’ll find yourself rooting for Rudy’s success, and your own during the thrilling and entertaining ride of Dolemite Is My Name!
Dolemite Is My Name releases October 25 on Netflix!