It’s no sin to turn a comedy into a flick with a family-oriented message — that is, unless it is done in all the wrong ways. In “A Thousand Words,” Eddie Murphy mimes and grimaces his way through the sappy film, making it harder to laugh at his performance and easier to leave the theater.
Jack McCall (Murphy), a literary agent who is constantly fast-tracking his way through life, cuts himself on a bodhi tree that forms a strange connection with him. For each word he speaks, the tree sheds a leaf, making him, and the tree, closer to death.
Set up to be full of comedic scenes, “A Thousand Words” shows Murphy’s once motor mouth character stripped of his verbal skills. Murphy, known for his obnoxious but infectious voice, is now silent and left only to contort his facial expressions, making for uncomfortable moments instead of the intended hilarity. The charade-like incidents become very repetitive and unentertaining, eventually becoming annoyingly monotonous.
Proving to be just another lackluster “family-friendly” comedy, “A Thousand Words” makes the viewers forget the original comedic style of Murphy’s past performances. Unfortunately, the film is just a waste of his talent and the audience’s time.
“A Thousand Words” was directed by Brian Robbins and written by Steve Koren.