In a Gawker piece called “The Eddie Murphy That You Loved Is Dead,” Tim Grierson acknowledges that occasionally Eddie Murphy, by any measure one of the laziest and most smugly self-satisfied stars in Hollywood history, will flirt with being his old ’80s self.
“Every once in a while, he’ll do a Bowfinger. Or a Dreamgirls. Last year, he was in Tower Heist, which got so-so reviews but at least showed us a glimpse of the Murphy of old. Around that same time, the normally press-shy Murphy sat down for a lengthy Rolling Stone interview where he sounded like he had seen the light about his recent career choices.
“‘I don’t think I’m gonna be doing a lot of family stuff for a while,’ he said. ‘I don’t have any interest in that right now. There’s really no blueprint, but I’m trying to do some edgy stuff.’ If that wasn’t enough, he even hinted at maybe — just maybe — going back and doing standup for the first time in more than 20 years. For a lot of fans, his comments seemed to be confirmation that, yes, Murphy knew he had made bad choices of late and was going to atone.
“But then the Oscar gig didn’t happen, Tower Heist was only an okay commercial performer, and then, poof, there went all that talk about a comeback.
“That’s not to say that Murphy didn’t mean what he said to Rolling Stone or that a future comeback isn’t possible. But considering how much Hollywood stars like to capitalize on their heat when they have it, it’s interesting that we haven’t heard a peep from Murphy since he bowed out of the Academy Awards.”