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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!
Sales have been flat for 27 months at the Good Buy Shopping Network
under the arrogant Ricky Hayman (Jeff Goldblum). John McBainbridge
(Robert Loggia) brings in Kate Newell (Kelly Preston) and gives Ricky 2
weeks to raise sales 8%. Ricky and Kate get a flat tire and encounter
spiritual almost-supernatural guru G (Eddie Murphy).
It's a comedy spoof of the Home Shopping Network. Quite frankly, they don't need to be spoofed. It would be more compelling to be more realistic. There are plenty of fun weird stories without going over the top. The idiocy simply makes the movie stupid, ugly and annoying. As for the three main actors, Kelly Preston contributes very little. Jeff Goldblum is wrong as the leading man. Eddie Murphy is not funny and lacks the likability for this guru character. His entry walking across that highway is terrific but it's a long downward slide from that point. This is unfunny and actually off-putting for the most part.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Holy Man (1998): Dir: Stephen Herek / Cast: Eddie Murphy, Jeff Goldblum, Kelly Preston, Robert Loggia, Jon Cryer: Although it doesn't appear to be a religious mockery, there is nothing holy about this travesty, and those of any particular religion are not likely to like it either. Eddie Murphy plays G who encounters Jeff Goldblum and Kelly Preston when they have car trouble. After G suffers from heat stroke Goldblum reluctantly pays his hospital bill. They are struggling advertisers and they hire G to sell products on T.V. but he is more interested in selling human nature. We do not know where he came from and his story is repetitious and never funny. Director Stephen Herek seems confused and that is a sad testimony for someone who made Mr. Holland's Opus. This is easily one of the worst films of his career, if not his worst film. Murphy is likable but G is too much of a mystery. Goldblum and Preston labor through cardboard roles. They befriend G then go through guilt as G begins to make their lives more worthwhile. Perhaps he should have led them to the set of a better film. It toys with consumer and self help talk show elements but these themes hardly elevate as a reason for this mess to exit. It is just a confusing dreck drained of any humour as if the inclusion of humour would make it offensive. That is just one of the many things not to like in this film, which belongs in a bonfire. Score: 1 / 10
Sometimes you can just tell when actors are appearing for the pay
check. "Holy Man" is one such example.
Plot in A Paragraph: Ricky Hayman (Jeff Goldblum) the head of an index line TV shopping channel, is given two weeks to save it, he finds answer in G (Eddie Murphy) an enigmatic holy man.
All the leads fail to bring their A-Game, which is disappointing, as there is not many funnier than Murphy on his A-Game and Goldblum can steal the scene off any actor. Kelly Preston still looks great, but she seems a little off too and Robert Loggia just seems to shout all his lines.
Of the cast only Jon Cryer is a lot of fun, and Betty White who is a joy as always, are the only ones who are free from criticism. And Its fun to see the delightful Jennifer Bini Taylor (Chelsea in "Two & A Half Men") in one of her first roles, appearing as 'Hot Tub Girl' in a blink and you'll miss it moment.
The Morgan Fairchild scene did raise a laugh, whilst James Brown and Don Marino have cameos as themselves too and like the leads, the clearly needed or wanted the quick pay check.
This is a good movie if you like shallow, somewhat sentimental, over-the-top sappy movies. Good for a long rainy day or if you need a good nap. Since I need to make my review longer, here goes: Jeff Goldblum, Robert Loggia, and Eddie Murphy are wonderfully talented actors who are wasted in this movie. They must have had some down time between gigs. Eddie is kind of like Axel Foley on downers, I don't think he laughed once. He was charming, but the camera was never on him long enough to be entertained for long. I'm not in the business, but even I got dizzy with all the cutting away from shots. As far as the religious aspects, not sure what they were going for. I know that was probably the point ... all religions are the same, it's all about feeling good about yourself, and following the golden rule of being good to your fellow man. If you do more good than bad, maybe you'll meet God in the end ... but that's antithetical to biblical Christianity; even one sin is enough to condemn in God's perfect holiness. Only Christ can pay our penalty through his death ... so in that sense, all religions are not the same. Those of us who accept Christ would probably find this move inadequate to be called 'Holy Man'.
First the positives... I agree with some reviewers who thought that the
film contained an important message about the distorted values of 21st
century society. It also had some laugh out loud moments, and I
definitely felt that there was a good story trying to get out. I loved
the idea that the major religions were all trying to claim Eddy
Murphy's 'G' character, the eponymous 'Holy Man', as their own. Indeed,
there were several good metaphors for the ills of modern society.
As always, Eddy Murphy did his best with a poor script, but sadly, the two romantic lead characters were totally unbelievable.
And in common with a lot of Hollywood's recent output, the whole thing was handled with the subtlety of a bull in a china shop, and felt like it was directed by a committee.
Overall... very poor.
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.
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.
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?
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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