One of Murphy’s lesser known films that would seem to boast a ridiculous plot, however it carries more weight than presumed and provides a lot of laughs.
A opportunistic con-man see’s a window into politics when a congressman with the same name as his dies with his name still on the ballot, and he will embark of his biggest con ever as he fakes his way into office.
Eddie Murphy was highly enjoyable in this film and sure some of his moments failed to deliver, but he did bring a great range of laughs overall. He was energetic and charismatic in the role of a con-man and no matter how ridiculous the plot, you could still feel his character was a very bright man despite his law breaking ways.
Murphy did feel in instances much too similar to his Axel Foley persona but it didn’t deter from the hilarity or enjoyment. It was also entertaining as the films version of the political world adapted to a rogue congressman who felt much younger, stylish and free-spirited. Something Murphy was able to pull off, as he conveyed the intelligence of a man who could get the job done using his quick thinking, another aspect of the film that often resulted in hilarious scenarios.
The premise may sound absurd and there is plenty justification in thinking so but while this script could have simply used itself to be a vehicle for Murphy to spit out a plethora of jokes, it did not. There was a visible detail into making this story-line feel as plausible as possible and it captured my attention. There was a creativity taken into writing this story that can make you appreciate the effort taken to tell a complete story that can lift your spirits and make you feel good after.
There was also a surprisingly heavy sub-plot which evolved in to the main message of the film. A couple of scenes actually manage to tug on the heart strings. This dissolves into the third-act of the film and its comedic climax . The screenplay creatively adds more opportunities for Murphy to shine with his comical delivery as he one-ups those around him who never took him serious. Rather then attempting to rouse some laughter with a barrage of gross-out or sexual humor this script manages to provide hilarious moments by using some personality to create clever humor.
The film-style was standard but the time-period of this one is all over the film (something you may not enjoy if you were not a fan of the early 90’s). The colorful wardrobes, hair-styles, jewelry and shoulder pads of 90’s fashion all pull you back into the era and add to putting you into the setting. Not to forget the soundtrack of this film that can take you back to top-40 radio stations back in 1992.
“The Distinguished Gentleman” may not have pulled in a great box-office return but it was a still a solid film among Murhpy’s run of hits. It may have been dumb at times as well as implausible but it still took itself seriously and you can see the result in the writing. Without relying on raunch-com this film can give you an evening to sit back and enjoy a fun comedy that will give you a deeper than usual story-line you can vest your time in.