After he is released from prison, a well-respected pimp with kung
fu skills goes after the criminals and corrupt cops who framed him.
Directed by D'Urville Martin
Written by Jerry Jones and Rudy Ray Moore
Starring Rudy Ray Moore, D'Urville Martin, Jerry Jones,
Lady Reed, Hy Pyke, Wesley Gale, Brenda DeLong, Terri Mosley
Eddie Murphy's biographical turn as Rudy Ray Moore in Netflix's Dolemite Is My Name is the talk of the film community right now. I knew that if I watched it without any frame of reference, I wouldn't appreciate it nearly as much. Hence, 1975's Dolemite, a bizarre movie that is so delightfully amateur and represents the very soul of the blaxpoitation movement. It loses major points for its serious lack of any coherent story, but it's a fun cult hit that is a fun watch, if only because its so overtly ridiculous.
Rudy Ray Moore is Dolemite, a pimp with a heart of gold who is released from prison by the warden because he wants him to help take down the real crime lords in town. Already, completely nonsensical, but okay, let's see where this is going. Dolemite knows karate, and it's hilarious watching the out-of-shape Moore struggle to lift his leg to do a roundhouse kick, if that's what you can call it. But let's be honest here. This isn't exactly an award-winning masterpiece, and we all know that. It's a movie that came about because Rudy Ray Moore wanted to be famous, and this film is a crazy action flick that he had a lot of fun making. And that's what it's all about.
Dolemite doesn't really hold up these days. Hell, it was pretty tough back in '75. But I think that Murphy's biopic is gonna give it a big resurgence and introduce it to a whole new audience. It's tough to follow the story, and a few plot threads disappear halfway through, but if you can put that out of your mind, you'll have a fun hour and a half watching something really weird.