Norbit is so Wong
I could sort of see what Eddie Murphy was trying to achieve with "Norbit", he had shown in "Nutty Professor" that a movie could be funny with him playing various characters disguised behind layers of latex. But it just doesn't work this time around and for me that boils down to the quality of the writing especially when it comes to the humour. Any movie which expects us to laugh at a baby being thrown out of a speeding car towards an orphanage or another speeding car trying to run over a dog is just barking up the wrong tree. Those are just a couple of the countless scenes in "Norbit" which think they are funny but in reality are off putting. And being off putting extends to the characters because whilst those characters that Murphy played in the "Nutty Professor" were funny this time around they are most certainly not, especially Rasputia who for a lot of the movie you can barely understand.
As a baby Norbit (Eddie Murphy) was dumped on the steps of Mr Wong's (Eddie Murphy) orphanage and growing up under his care became best friends with Kate (Thandie Newton - The Pursuit of Happyness) until she left the home. Having grown up Norbit ended up marrying Rasputia (Eddie Murphy) and working for her brothers. But when Kate returns to town with a plan to buy the orphanage, Norbit's hopes of getting back with her and leaving Rasputia are dashed when her boyfriend Deion (Cuba Gooding Jr. - Instinct) shows up. Despite this Norbit still holds out for his chance to leave the miserable life he has with Rasputia and her crooked brothers and make a new start with Kate especially as Deion is hiding something from her.
Whist I am sure someone came up with an idea for a movie that idea was certainly not fleshed out when it comes to "Norbit". To say the storyline is slim would be an understatement and no matter how much back story is delivered as we watch Norbit end up marrying the repulsive Rasputia and working for her crooked brother does nothing to hide its deficiencies. And so what in effect we have is a comedy with a touch of romance as Norbit's childhood friend returns and his feelings for her come to the surface which means he has to deal with all the crooked members of his family and her boyfriend in order not only to win her but also save the orphanage that he grew up in from becoming a titty bar. Now in fairness being a comedy you don't expect a great storyline but the slim idea being passed off as a storyline is one of the worst I have seen.
As such "Norbit" is a movie all about the comedy and being as vulgar as possible is meant to make us laugh. Okay so I will put my hand up and say the scene with Rasputia bombing down a water slide did make me smile and whilst totally daft I enjoyed Eddie Griffin as the fly Pope Sweet Jesus. But very little else in Norbit made me laugh especially when being vulgar went too far into being cruel. As already mentioned the scene where Rasputia tries to run over a dog is just wrong and there are so many other scenes which are just as bad such as orphanage owner Mr. Wong trying to harpoon a cardboard whale held up by the orphans. Someone must have thought these scenes were amusing but they didn't even come close almost bordering on the shocking for being so misplaced.
As for the acting well despite having a cast which features Marlon Wayans, Terry Crews, Cuba Gooding Jr., Eddie Griffin and Thandie Newton "Norbit" is all about Eddie Murphy as Mr. Wong, Rasputia and of course the supposedly loveable sap Norbit. Unfortunately whilst Norbit is most definitely a sap he doesn't end up that loveable and that is a big problem because whilst we championed Murphy as Professor Klump in the "Nutty Professor" you don't give too hoots for Norbit. And as for Rasputia well she is intentionally vulgar, but it is almost impossible to understand what she says half the time with her bitching. Basically it's as wrong as the comedy and just as off putting.
What this all boils down to is that "Norbit" is for me one of the worst movies I have seen Eddie Murphy in. From the slim storyline, unfunny and unlike able characters as well as the comedy which borders on the cruel it just doesn't work. Oh it has its moments and there are a handful of scenes which are amusing but they are severly in the minority.