×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps

Offering incontrovertible proof that more is less, "Nutty Professor II: The Klumps" tries too hard to do too much to top its 1996 smash-hit predecessor. Remember the raucous family gatherings in "The Nutty Professor" that had Eddie Murphy playing five different characters at the same crowded dinner table? Be prepared to laugh less at a lot more of the same thing in this overbearing but underwhelming sequel. Opening weekend B.O. numbers should be huge, but a rapid drop-off is likely, if not inevitable, as discouraging word of mouth spreads. Long-term ancillary prospects are marginally rosier.

With:
Sherman Klump/ Buddy Love/ Granny Klump/ Mama Klump/ Papa Klump/ Young Papa Klump/ Ernie Klump/ Lance Perkins - Eddie Murphy Denise Gaines - Janet Jackson Dean Richmond - Larry Miller Jason - John Ales Denise's Father - Richard Gant Denise's Mother - Anna Maria Horsford Leanne Guilford - Melinda McGraw Ernie Klump Jr. - Jamal Mixon

Offering incontrovertible proof that more is less, “Nutty Professor II: The Klumps” tries too hard to do too much to top its 1996 smash-hit predecessor. Remember the raucous family gatherings in “The Nutty Professor” that had Eddie Murphy playing five different characters at the same crowded dinner table? Be prepared to laugh less at a lot more of the same thing in this overbearing but underwhelming sequel. Opening weekend B.O. numbers should be huge, but a rapid drop-off is likely, if not inevitable, as discouraging word of mouth spreads. Long-term ancillary prospects are marginally rosier.

The first “Professor” — a much-improved remake of Jerry Lewis’ 1963 take on the “Jekyll and Hyde” story — revolved around the misadventures of Sherman Klump, a grossly overweight genius who developed a split personality while testing an experimental serum on himself. Each time he took a swig of his unstable elixir, the shy professor morphed into Buddy Love, a flashy-dressing, smooth-talking swinger who looked and sounded a lot like — well, Eddie Murphy (or at least like the Eddie Murphy of everyone’s deepest, secret suspicions).

It didn’t take long for Buddy to attempt a hostile takeover, forcing Sherman to battle his alter ego to regain control of the body they time-shared.

With a little help from Oscar-winning makeup wiz Rick Baker, Murphy was a world-class hoot in both lead roles. With a little more of Baker’s help, Murphy was equally hilarious in his brief bits as four other members of the Klump clan: garrulous Papa, sweetly exuberant Mama, surly brother Ernie and sassy geezer Granny.

All of the Klumps are back in “Nutty Professor II,” and each gets a bigger slice of the action as the sequel shamelessly attempts to exploit and expand the most crowdpleasing bits and pieces of the 1996 original. Sherman is the nominal hero of the story, once again distracted by romantic longings as he toils on modern miracles of science, and once again winningly played by Murphy as an older, wiser and college-educated version of Bill Cosby’s Fat Albert.

There is something ineffably touching about Murphy’s portrayal of Sherman as a gently sensitive behemoth who laughs — but doesn’t smile — when he’s mocked for his gargantuan girth. Trouble is, there isn’t enough of the big lug in the sequel, because his attention-grabbing relatives repeatedly upstage him.

At first, the special effects in “Nutty Professor II” are so eye-poppingly prodigious that it’s easy to overlook the repetitiveness of the plotting and the coarseness of the humor. The interactions among the Murphy-Klump quintet are smooth, seamless and often downright astonishing, especially when one Eddie Murphy addresses another Eddie Murphy, then turns to embrace yet a third Eddie Murphy, who in turn says something to a fourth and a fifth.

You’re never entirely unaware that it’s really the same actor beneath each accumulation of latex and foam-rubber prosthetics. But director Peter Segal and his all-pro production crew — including makeup master Baker and visual effects supervisor Jon Farhat — make it childishly simple to make frequent leaps of the imagination, and to accept each Murphy as a uniquely amusing individual.

Unfortunately, the special effects are almost too extraordinary for the movie’s own good. Since it’s so easy to accept the illusion of five separate and distinct characters, the novelty value of that illusion starts to wane about a third of the way into “Nutty Professor II.”

To put it bluntly, you take the magic for granted. And once you stop marveling at the high-tech trickery, you begin to notice how much of the movie relies on lame jokes about flatulence, sexual dysfunction, animal excrement and the indefatigable horniness of Granny Klump, to say nothing of a gag involving the anal rape of a college dean (Larry Miller) by a chemically enhanced hamster, or the opening dream sequence in which Eddie Murphy makes a special guest appearance as the throbbing bulge in Sherman Klump’s trousers.

Just as “Scary Movie” expanded the boundaries for R-rated respectability, “Nutty Professor II” raises the limit for what passes for PG-13 entertainment. The previous “Nutty Professor” dabbled in rude and crude raunchiness as well, but not quite so frequently and desperately as the sequel, which often plays like an illustrated party record.

Buddy Love also returns in “Nutty Professor II,” despite Sherman Klump’s best efforts to literally drain the intruder out of his DNA. Sherman manages to isolate and extract an errant gene that is the last remaining trace of his own private Mr. Hyde. But the gene inadvertently mutates with a strand of dog hair — trust me, you don’t want to know how — and the result is a brave new Buddy who likes to chase cats, play fetch and sniff the air for traces of lovely ladies. This sly hound dog makes a play for Sherman’s new sweetheart, a brilliant scientist played with improbable persuasiveness by pop star Janet Jackson.

But even with his canine accouterments, Buddy simply isn’t as funny the second time around. For that matter, neither are the Klumps.

The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps

Production: A Universal Pictures release of an Imagine Entertainment presentation of a Brian Grazer production. Produced by Brian Grazer. Executive producers, Jerry Lewis, Eddie Murphy, Karen Kehela, Tom Shadyac, James D. Brubaker. Co-producers, James Whitaker, Michael Ewing. Directed by Peter Segal. Screenplay, Barry W. Blaustein, David Sheffield, Paul Weitz, Chris Weitz, from a story by Steve Oedekerk, Blaustein, Sheffield, based on characters created by Jerry Lewis, Bill Richmond.

Crew: Camera (Deluxe color), Dean Semler; editor, William Kerr; music, David Newman; music supervisors, Gary Jones, Happy Walters; production designer, William Elliott; art director, Greg Papalia; set decorator, John Anderson; costume designer, Sharen Davis; sound (Dolby Digital/DTS/SDDS), Jose Antonio Garcia; visual effects supervisor, John Farhat; special makeup effects, Rick Baker; visual effects producers, Jennifer Bell, Robert Stadd; assistant director, Josh King; casting, Pamela Basker, Joanne Koehler. Reviewed at Cinemark Tinseltown Westchase Cinema, Houston, July 25, 2000. MPAA Rating: PG-13. Running time: 106 MIN.

With: Sherman Klump/ Buddy Love/ Granny Klump/ Mama Klump/ Papa Klump/ Young Papa Klump/ Ernie Klump/ Lance Perkins - Eddie Murphy Denise Gaines - Janet Jackson Dean Richmond - Larry Miller Jason - John Ales Denise's Father - Richard Gant Denise's Mother - Anna Maria Horsford Leanne Guilford - Melinda McGraw Ernie Klump Jr. - Jamal Mixon

More Film

  • UGC Distribution Closes on Mariano Cohn’s

    Ventana Sur: UGC Distribution Closes Market Hit ‘4 x 4’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    BUENOS AIRES — UGC Distribution has beaten out all other suitors to clinch what had became by Friday morning the most anticipated deal of this year’s Ventana Sur market: All rights to France on Argentine Mariano Cohn’s “4 x 4,” sold by Latido Films and distributed throughout Argentina by Disney. After mounting speculation about which [...]

  • Aquaman 2018

    Film News Roundup: 'Aquaman' Hits $152 Million at International Box Office

    In today’s film news roundup, “Aquaman” has already grossed more than $150 million outside the U.S., Michael Masini joins “Birds of Prey,” and Freestyle buys the documentary “Shamanic Trekker.” BOX OFFICE More Reviews Tallinn Film Review: 'Winter's Night' TV Review: 'Vanity Fair' Warner Bros.’ tentpole “Aquaman” has taken in $152 million overseas in 36 markets, [...]

  • 'Winter's Night' Review: Enigmatic, Offbeat Korean

    Tallinn Film Review: 'Winter's Night'

    There are thousands of films about love’s beginning, and a great many about love’s end. But far fewer deal with a relationship’s late-middle: the spreading, sluggish delta of coupledom when decades of familiarity, if they have not bred contempt, at least threaten irritation. “Winter’s Night,” Jang Woo-jin’s playfully melancholic third feature, after the acclaimed “A [...]

  • Tomasz Kot UTA

    UTA Signs ‘Cold War’ Star Tomasz Kot (EXCLUSIVE)

    UTA has signed “Cold War” star Tomasz Kot. He has appeared in more than 30 films and 26 plays as well as dozens of television series. More Reviews Tallinn Film Review: 'Winter's Night' TV Review: 'Vanity Fair' Most recently, Kot has received award-season buzz for his starring role as Wiktor in Pawel Pawlikowski’s feature “Cold [...]

  • Kenneth Branagh's 'All Is True' Opening

    Kenneth Branagh's 'All Is True' Opening Palm Springs Film Festival

    The 30th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival will open on Jan. 3 with historical drama “All Is True,” starring Kenneth Branagh, Judi Dench, and Ian McKellen. Branagh, who will be in attendance at the opening night screening, directed from Ben Elton’s script about the little-known period in the final years of William Shakespeare. Branagh [...]

  • Actor and Activist Rodney Kageyama Dies

    Actor and Activist Rodney Kageyama Dies at 77

    Actor, activist and influentials member of the Japanese American community, Rodney Kageyama, died in his sleep Dec. 9. He was 77. The SAG member was known for roles in “Karate Kid IV” with Hillary Swank, Ron Howard’s film “Gung Ho” and the spinoff sitcom, and the TV movie “Hiroshima: Out of the Ashes” with Max [...]

  • Most Popular Films 2018: The Best

    9 Holiday Gift Ideas Inspired by This Year's Most Popular Films

    From superheroes to super nannies, 2018 was a year full of memorable characters — and memorable movies. Whether you’re a big film buff, an avid follower of a popular franchise, or have a couple movie fans in your life, here are nine gifts that capture the fun of some of this year’s biggest films. 1. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content