Trailer Watch: Imagine That

Once upon a midnight dreary something very bad happened to Eddie Murphy. The formerly irreverent high-powered comedian found Jesus, fell out of love with the bottle, ditched cocaine, racked up windfalls of debt, got an attack of moral conscience or simply went mad from flashing too many of his face contorting smiles. How else to explain the delirious dreck that now characterises his career? Murphy’s reputation has been solidified and homogenised in a prolific array of pay check performances and creative duds - many of them sequels - including Nutty Professor 2 (2000), Dr Dolittle 2 (2001), The Adventures of Pluto Nash (2002), Daddy Day Care (2003), The Haunted Mansion (2003), Norbit (2007), Meet Dave (2008) and a bunch of Shrek sequels and spin-offs: Shrek 2, 3, 4; Shrek 4-D (made for theme parks and DVD) and Shrek the Halls (made for TV). His Oscar nominated performance in Dreamgirls (2006), which seems barely believable in hindsight, proved that for Eddie critically greener pastures are only a couple of paddocks (and a decent script choice) away.

Every actor is allowed a rotten egg from time to time but Murphy is way, way over his quota and the trailer for Imagine That (from Over the Hedge director Karey Kirkpatrick) suggests he isn’t wizening up or scaling back on schmaltz any time soon. In it Murphy plays Evan, a struggling advertising executive who revives his career not by working harder or better but by embracing his young daughter’s imaginary world and somehow using it to enhance his work. The voiceover man shamelessly announces that “he’s about to get some help from the last person he ever imagined” (sigh) and the premise appears to kick into gear once Evan submits documents to his boss that have been defaced with doodles from his daughter, replete with predictions that certain companies are “going to get married.” Instead of showing him the door, Evan’s boss incredibly asks “how did you know about this impending marriage? Where are you getting this information?” Evidently Evan’s daughter’s imaginary friend is also a prophetic corporate insider. Evidently corporate mergers are now known as “marriages.”

The voiceover man continues his saccharine salesmanship ramble with “imagine that the magic you’ve been looking for is right before your eyes!” while Everlasting Love jingles on the soundtrack and, pe-eww, the audience are given a mounting list of reasons to stay away from Imagine That – including scenes depicting Murphy falling over in various assumedly hilarious ways, i.e. on a ice skating rink (no points for originality) and out of a window and onto a trampoline. Movie trailers have always been more about selling a product than enabling the public to make educated decisions, but in its defence this trailer (watch it below) does provide education of sorts. The lesson reads, in very large letters, BUYER BEWARE.


  1. By god that sounds terrible! How do these shite scripts keep getting funded? Oh for the good ol days of Coming to America. 'The royal penis is clean'

  2. I LOL'd. (At your post, mind - this looks like being skullraped by candycanes...)