(1992)2.5Derek ArmstrongBoomerang typifies the down years of Eddie Murphy's career, after his breakthrough as a cutting-edge motormouth but before his rebirth as a kiddie-friendly mainstay. It shares the same dusty section of the Eddie Murphy library as Harlem Nights, The Distinguished Gentleman, and Vampire in Brooklyn. During this era, Murphy eschewed his prior manic tendencies, opting for more a more restrained persona. In Boomerang, that equates to a loss of heart. There's something fundamentally unlikable about a character who turns down the inarguably gorgeous Lela Rochon because of her lone imperfection: a crooked toe. Yeah, that's the point, that Marcus Graham is shallow. But the shallowness is rendered with over-simplicity, not to mention smugness. There's definitely humor to Marcus' range of eccentric female tormentors, from a purring Eartha Kitt to a typically out-there Grace Jones as the aptly named Strange (pronounced Stran-jay). The film was also a great platform for Johnny Witherspoon, who earned a lot of future work with his profane proclamations about genders and sex at the Thanksgiving dinner table. (This dinner scene seems like a precursor to the Klumps' meal-time repartee in Murphy's upcoming The Nutty Professor.) The film is strangely imbalanced between its cool and detached first half and its more outrageous second half, making for an uneven film that's long on running time and short on distinction.