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Holy Man
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Reviews & Ratings for
Holy Man More at IMDbPro »

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Fantastic Movie!

9/10
Author: flexico from San Francisco, CA
31 July 1999

This movie was one of the most inspiring I have seen in a long time. Going into the film, I had fairly modest expectations, and merely hoped for a few good laughs. In fact, the movie was very well written, and had a very spiritual message that I found to be both inspiring and refreshing. Bravo Eddie!

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

More of a right Holy Mess than anything else, Herek's film is limp and predictable despite some decent enough ground-zero ideas.

5/10
Author: johnnyboyz from Hampshire, England
26 January 2011

Where Holy Man might have been a rather scabrous attack on the shallowness surrounding those both working within the television shopping channel industry and the industry itself, it ends up being a pretty meek love story; where it might have been a quite gripping story of one man being put through a proverbial wringer as his life and job threaten to fall apart, it ends up a damp squib of flat laughs and uninvolving drama; where it might have had its two lead male players bounce off of one another as they effectively 'body swap' their respective film star demeanours, it ends up an uninteresting and gloomy tale about the exploration of one's soul with additional life-lecturing content which drags. Stephen Herek's Holy Man is a disjointed and loose item, a film whose central tract appears to be about faux-public idolisation with a television star quite literally brought in off the street combined with the fatuity behind a shopping network, but in actual fact is about a rather dull love story between two people we don't like with one of them eventually coming to suffer a moral crisis we don't care about. Its politics and basic roots are there, but coming from the director of such films as 1988's Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure and 1996's 101 Dalmatians, it just doesn't quite gel.

It's Jeff Goldblum's character at the core of Holy Man; here playing rather-a high flying television executive, a manager at a local television network station named Ricky Hayman whose life it is established during the opening exchanges usually begins with the cruising to work in a sports car across the sun drenched roads of Miami against some pumping techno music in order to start a new day. After waltzing into his workplace, the super smooth manager glides from one locale within the television studio to another, finding time for small talk to any women within the vicinity as well as dealing with the odd cell phone call. What comes into his little world to upset this balance of perfection is in the form of his boss, and the owner of the entire station, John McBainbridge (Loggia); whom calls him into his office and outlines, in what is a guilty example of agonising exposition for both Hayman's and the audience's benefit, what it is that's on the line. That is, that times are not good. The network is loosing more money than it is making and Hayman has two weeks to make 'x' amount of money, or face redundancy at a cost of the network's flailing sales. With Kelly Preston's Kate Newell looming ominously in the background and supposedly pining for Hayman's job, Hayman notes what's on the line and sets to work on his task of rectifying the situation so as to preserve what he's got running already.

Central to these proceedings is Eddie Murphy's spiritual figure named 'G'; a man whose name is what it is so that the writers can crack dopey 'G' jokes such as "G Whizz" or "G Spot" later on; a linen cloth-clad man whom parades down the central reservation of a main road kissing the grass and smelling the air, an eternal pacifist, even ignoring impacting litter thrown specifically at him by youths riding along in an open top vehicle. Hayman is initially as reluctant to have anything to do with G: where he is calculating, G goes with the flow; where he is a ruthless businessman, G is a free-and-easy spirit and where Hayman is stiff and reactionary G is relaxed and greets everything with a grin - it is only through Kate's intrigue of the man that they are all brought together, before having to come to form a bond throughout the rest of the film. As it becomes obvious that G might just be the thing the network needs to boost sales, a crucial question arises which determines both the path and respective framework both the film and Hayman will go down; something attentive viewers will work out relatively quickly: will Hayman merely exploit the guru? Or, will he have an overall change of heart before coming to realise that those of a polar opposition, whom might initially be shunned, do in fact have their place in life and aren't all that bad once you get involved with them.

Dull framework eventually comes to win out over crass political incorrectness, the aforementioned body swapping seeing Goldblum play the eccentric; loud; frenetic; all-over-the-place protagonist to Murphy's calmer; more reserved and reigned in supporting act, something both actors are perhaps more commonly associated with doing the other way round. They don't bounce off of one another particularly well, sharing little chemistry and flat exchanges while it is very difficult to get behind a character of Hayman's stature given his goal is to, ultimately, get people out there in the world to begin buying stuff again in this brutal world of consumerism and materialism. The film doesn't quite explore the fatuity of the world in which its set; limp celebrity cameos-come-pay cheques effectively defeating the purpose of what it is ought to be explored, while G's eventual status as a God-like television personality does little but highlight idolisation through TV as a phenomenon without much else. The film will build to a moral crescendo you do not care for; the fate of a love affair hanging delicately on the precipice you do not feel for and a limp attack on shopping networks as well as materialism you oddly cannot root for, Holy Man fizzling out with some nice ideas and bizarrely would-be theological content into a bit of a mess which does not particularly resonate.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Does Philosophy sell?

6/10
Author: Leb from Hannover, Germany
12 January 2000

I just saw Holy Man, called Guru on this side of the ocean, and I had a good time watching it. Well, I liked the cast, I liked the message the film delivers and it`s funny. I am one of those guys, who likes watching the shopping channels, maybe that is necessary to like this film, but if you like films with humour and love, then why not rent this one.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A comedy? I doubt it, but this isn't a bad film

6/10
Author: Gary A. Valenzuela (gevalher@hotmail.com) from La Paz, Bolivia
19 August 1999

Eddie Murphy playing the role of a mystery man. Who is G? From where he comes? Where he goes? Nobody knows, but what Jeff Goldblum playing Ricky Hayman will discover is that there are one thing more important that job success or big money...

This film try to be a comedy about a man who is in charge of a shopping TV channel. He is failing at his work and on the verge of being fired, until he and his girlfriend knows by accident a strange man called only G.

G found the way to stay besides Ricky and change forever his way to see the life. When at first look seems that G has come to improve the aspects of life that Ricky sees as important, then slowly he begin to realize that there are other things more important, that all the people sometimes -most times- neglected to see.

The film tries to be a comedy, but despite some very humorous moments, I can tell you that isn't one. But the film is nice to see and the moral of the story is a good one.

The cast of main players was well acted, but sometimes Goldblum acts too much and sometimes not enough, but his overall acting is a good one. I like to see Robert Loggia, he is one of my favorite actors, and he always plays well the "bad guy".

After all, all we need is... a non stop shopping channel?

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Eddie Murphy in a Role Charlton Heston Could Have Had.

4/10
Author: phillafella from Nashville, TN
14 June 2003

HOLY MAN is a definite change of pace for Eddie Murphy...and another disappointment for him, too. Here, he plays a religious guru who is approached by two television execs (Jeff Goldblum and Kelly Preston), who decide to put him on their failing home shopping network. You can just guess what happens next. This movie doesn't have the humor of Eddie's other movies, and it doesn't rate high on my list. Goldblum and Preston provide the movie's only attraction.

2 out of 5

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

I'm seeing more than is there.

5/10
Author: lambiepie-2 from Los Angeles, CA
18 February 2003



I want to be clear, this is not a good picture.

So why do I keep looking at it when it comes on?

I don't know. Something about this film keeps me interested in certain parts, a little. I guess its ONE of the stories that I pay attention to...the story of a guy on a pilgrimage gets into the lives of two mismatched people and have them magically end up together.

Is this guy a Genie? A Saint? A Guardian Angel? A Holy Man? Hmmm.

But then the story goes wacky. All sorts of unnecessary crap is thrown in to make this film even more awful. The home shopping, the Eddie Murphy, "I'm always on" kinda thing, Jeff Goldblum being Jeff...Although with a more sharper story, sharper writing and direction, evening out Murphy and developing his character, this could have been a delightful film.

Notice, I still didn't say, good. I said, Delightful.

I would love to see someone take this film, re-write it with sharper writing, more character development, and with Eddie still, but we need to know WHY he does what he does, no teasing... just tell us and let him work his magic throughout the lives of these over-achievers and network scum for the network dollar. Home shopping, Nah. But "Reality Programming" would have been a blast, more interesting!

So much potential with good actors that just ends up awful instead of delightful.

And please notice I never said, good.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

the path to hell is paved with good intentions

6/10
Author: Gambitt from Ohio
18 July 2001

I actually rated this movie higher than others because at least it was trying to deliver a good message, as botched as the execution may have been.

The script is pretty dry, the comedy isn't very funny, and overall the movie is predictable. Especially annoying was listening to Jeff Goldblum babble non-stop(ie be himself) everytime Holy Man Murphy was on the air. I know it wasn't supposed to be realistic, but some parts are illogical enough to turn off the viewer. For example, when G is "rampaging" through the sets, during this "emergency," was it really impossible for anyone on the set to do anything besides point and say, "Oh my god, what's he doing now?"

Nevertheless, I like what the movie was trying awkwardly to say: that everything pure and true is exploited nowadays, and that people will shamelessly use anything, even spiritualism, for commercial gain. I like it because, well, I think it's more true than ever today.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Misjudged but worth while

10/10
Author: Ryan A. Thompson (magis@san.rr.com) from San Diego, USA
10 June 1999

I don't see why this film was so poorly reviewed by the critics. The movie was funny, but it's humor is not what made it a great movie. It took a relatively predictable plot and kept it alive, made it mildly humorous and very watchable. It had a beautifully crafted subplot of religious salvation. This was not just a comedy and the true excellence of this movie is lost if it is reviewed as one. Critics of this movie must also get away from type-casting certain actors, such as Eddie Murphy. This was not a "Eddie Murphy Movie" just as The Truman Show was not a "Jim Carrey Movie". Sometimes actors can play roles that are different than those they normally play, and we must keep this in mind when evaluating Murphy in this movie. Overall, however, I found the writing to be very well done, the humor solid, and the execution almost flawless. I applaud this movie and think that it has deserved far too much undue scorn from critics who do not truly understand what the movie was about. You must keep your eyes open and your mind, but if you do, I promise you this movie will not disappoint, and I would be surprised if you were not changed by it.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

This is great Eddie Murphy!

Author: anonymous from Canada
22 May 1999

I went to see Dr. Dolittle in theatres and I was very upset with the lack of good solid laughs. There was only one or two good scenes in the entire film. A little while afterwards I rented Metro and absolutely hated it. I had lost respect for Murphy. So when this movie came to theatres I decided to skip it. I had made a grave mistake. Holy Man is without a doubt one of Eddie Murphy's funniest movies. It ranks right up there with Beverly Hills Cop 1 and 3, the 48 hours series, the Golden Child, Mulan, and Nutty Professor. It had several scenes of absolute non-stop laughs that had me rolling over and it had a message! This is a film that should not be missed. I gave it 10/10

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Murphy (New Age style)

5/10
Author: alex-252 from Rotterdam, The Netherlands
4 May 1999

The career of Eddie Murphy is getting sadder and sadder. After the horrible movie Dr. Dolittle I had some hope that Murphy would take some revenge. However, with this kind of crap he's not doing his career a favor. Where is the Eddie from Trading Places, Beverly Hills cop and even Best Defence?

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