Combustible Celluloid
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With: Eddie Murphy, Robin Givens, Halle Berry, David Alan Grier, Martin Lawrence, Grace Jones, Geoffrey Holder, Eartha Kitt, Chris Rock, Tisha Campbell-Martin, Lela Rochon, John Witherspoon, Bebe Drake-Massey, John Canada Terrell, Leonard Jackson
Written by: Barry W. Blaustein, David Sheffield, based on a story by Eddie Murphy
Directed by: Reginald Hudlin
MPAA Rating: R for language and sexuality
Running Time: 117
Date: 07/01/1992

Boomerang (1992)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Mack Daddy Vibe

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Boomerang is arguably more interesting in theory than it is in execution. It was part of a boom of African-American movies in the early 1990s, and star Eddie Murphy clearly went out of his way to get in on this trend; he acquired an African-American director, Reginald Hudlin, who had made House Party (1990), and cast the movie almost entirely with African-Americans. It even features a cameo by pioneer filmmaker Melvin Van Peebles. Moreover, it was an attempt at a more sophisticated, grown-up comedy for Murphy, focusing on adults in a workplace, and on adult, sexual relationships.

Marcus Graham (Murphy) is a successful advertising executive at a big city cosmetics firm. He's a bachelor and enjoys great success with women, though he refuses to commit; the shape of their toes can be enough of a reason to dump them. Suddenly, a woman Jacqueline Broyer (Robin Givens) is promoted and becomes his boss; Marcus is smitten with her, but she treats him roughly the same way he has always treated other women. Meanwhile, Marcus finds that he enjoys the company of another employee, Angela (Halle Berry). Can he renounce his womanizing ways and find true love?

The movie attempts a fascinating role-reversal, with a strong female character treating Murphy as a sex object, but whether it actually works is up for debate. Many found the movie too vulgar or shallow, but it does contain many interesting and/or funny sequences. Chris Rock, John Witherspoon, and David Alan Grier provide amusing support, and the adorable Halle Berry is the movie's soul.

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