Cinema: In Search of Eddie Murphy

The gifts that made him a star have disappeared into self-parody

A moment's silence, please, for the late great Eddie Murphy, wild child in the promised land of superstardom. Now missing and presumed dead, the bold young adventurer was last seen in the 1984 megahit Beverly Hills Cop. Though a figure billed as "Eddie Murphy" has been spotted flitting through the underbrush of a variety of dismal movies since then, it seems likely that he is being played by a stunt double. Or possibly a stunted double.

What Murphy was looking for when he headed up-country into the wilderness of the self was not unreasonable. He needed to find a screen character...

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