Meet Dave stars Eddie Murphy as an alien and an alien spaceship, both of whom have come to Earth to take our salt for no other reason than their home planet needs it. While Murphy is capable of wonderful displays of energy and charisma, what he’s given here is a bafflingly stupid, contrived film that strains for every laugh.
Much of the film’s (attempted) humor comes from Murphy’s robot character, inadvertently named Dave Ming Chang. Despite the aliens being human, having the knowledge to design an anthropomorphic robot, fly across space, and being able to speak our language, the concept of making their robot creation walk is beyond them. Wouldn’t they have tested something like that before coming to Earth to conquer us all?
The film opens with an asteroid falling to Earth, the object is in actuality sent to suck up all of our water/salt for the aliens to take back with them. When it misses its target, the aliens come down in their Daveship (as it will be referred to from here on out) three weeks later. The question is why didn’t the aliens just bring the object down with the Daveship instead of sending it separately? The object can obviously be handled, shown to the audience by the end of the film.
Ignoring the gaping holes in the script that destroy all sense of logic in the sci-fi aspects, Meet Dave is devoid of humor or charm. Eddie Murphy is playing the same character twice, as both the Daveship and his Number 1 character are both static and robotic. An easy paycheck for him, and a way to take a paycheck from moviegoers.
Lacking in humor, Meet Dave falls back on a series of repetitive jokes, such as the Daveship drinking, washing out a crew of aliens in the mouth. This is done twice. Hand gestures, foreign to these aliens, are dealt with three times. The Daveship’s bowels emptying? Yeah, that’s done more than once as well.
There is no flow, pacing, or movement to this story. The Daveship moves around New York to one location after another, learning about human behavior. The scenes feel disjointed, with poorly handled edits and even less entertainment value. Director Brian Robbins has delivered some truly awful comedies before, even one with Eddie Murphy, Norbit. This is a new low, and yes, possibly worse than Good Burger.
This review could go on for a few thousands words, discussing the awfulness of Elizabeth Banks performance, the failure of the Old Navy sequence, or one of the worst gay characters in recent memory, but it’s the definition of beating a dead horse. At the end of the film, Dave (or Number 1), flies off into space to return home. One would think that’s where Eddie Murphy’s mind is these days to take a role like this.
Despite a sharp look, some excellent fine detail, and bold, saturated color, Meet Dave suffers from a variety of problems on Blu-ray. Contrast blots out detail in every outdoor scene, and at the worst, almost makes characters appear glowing. Bronzed flesh tones are tough to look at.
Some light banding is evident in the opening sequence as the asteroid heads to Earth. Also, while close-ups are impressive, anything in the mid-range or at a distance lacks the expected level of detail for a modern film. Black levels are strong and consistent in creating depth. This is far from awful, but there is potential for a substantial live action effort the film fails to reach.
A powerful, deep DTS-HD Master mix offers some impressive audio cues. Right from the opening scene as the asteroid heads to Earth, deep, rumbling bass creates wonderful low end thumps. The Daveship’s brief assault on the police station is fun for its surround work and meaty explosions. However, New York is rather flat as Dave walks around adventuring, with little or no ambient noise to speak of.
A general making of seems more like a series of excuses after watching the film, although it is somewhat more in-depth than the usual promotional piece. It runs about 22 minutes. A short gag reel offers an actual laugh or two, something the actual movie fails to do. Four deleted scenes and a separate alternate ending (which is more of an extension) only mean having to watch more of this stuff.
A section called Crew Profiles is a slow to load area that has each member of the Daveship discussing their roles in character. Three featurettes for the Fox Movie Channel were used to promote the film.