Steer clear of this 'comedy'

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 15 July, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 15 July, 2012, 12:00am


Despite how unfunny and illogical A Thousand Words seems, the premise - a man with only 1,000 words left to say before he dies - isn't bad. Of course, it's ridiculous, but underneath, there's a mysticism with gurus and trees that permits a certain level of absurdity to fall through the cracks. In a pseudo-enlightening fashion, you might think it would work, in a slapstick way. But that feeling quickly fades.

Bigwig agent Jack (Eddie Murphy) has always had a way with words. That is, he uses them profusely to manipulate people any way he can. One day, while pursuing new-age guru DrSinja (Cliff Curtis) as a client, a curse is cast upon him and a tree springs up in his backyard.

With every word Jack speaks (and even writes, or motions - although it's not really consistent throughout the film), a leaf falls off the branches. When all of them are gone, Jack is a goner, too.

Few positive words can be summoned to describe A Thousand Words. It fails to spark any laughs. Murphy, who excels at being rude and offensive with his trademark rapid-fire babbling, is left to entertain with facial expressions and over-the-top acting. In that sense, ironically, he's well suited for the part.

But the complete lack of enticing supporting characters, the illogical behaviour and over-simplified denouement make this a complete mess. Words can't do justice to how awful this is.