According to first reactions out of Toronto International Film Festival, Eddie Murphy is triumphant in Craig Brewer‘s “Dolemite Is My Name.” Murphy, an Academy Award nominee for “Dreamgirls,” stars in this dramedy as Rudy Ray Moore, a comedy and rap pioneer who proved naysayers wrong when his hilarious, obscene, kung-fu fighting alter ego, Dolemite, became a 1970s Blaxploitation phenomenon.
The cast includes Wesley Snipes, Keegan-Michael Key, Mike Epps, Craig Robinson, Tituss Burgess, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Kodi Smit-Mcphee, Snoop Dogg, Ron Cephas Jones, Barry Shabaka Henley, Tip “TI” Harris, Luenell and Tasha Smith.
Under the fiery and spunky persona, Dolemite finds the resources to make a name for himself in what becomes the 1975 Blaxploitation film “Dolemite.” Rudy recruits the help of his friend Jerry Jones (Keegan Michael-Key) to write the script with D’Urville Martin (Wesley Snipes) directing.
Brewer directs from a script by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski. Brewer’s previous directing credits include “Hustle & Flow,” “Black Snake Moan” and “Footloose” (2011).
First reactions started coming out of TIFF via Twitter, with viewers calling it a definite “feel good” movie. Reactions also highlight Murphy’s return to what made him an icon in the first place:
— Raquel Stecher @ #TIFF19 (@RaquelStecher) September 8, 2019
DOLEMITE IS MY NAME: About time Netflix made a movie extolling the virtues of four-walling, which is good because this'll play best w/ huge crowd. A more sincere and huggable DISASTER ARTIST, with a practically giddy Eddie Murphy performance that instantly wins you over. #TIFF19 pic.twitter.com/uWigM00JAF
— Barry Hertz (@HertzBarry) September 8, 2019
DOLEMITE: Eddie Murphy returns to superior form in the Biopic of comedian Rudy (Dolemite) Raymore. He was a super inclusive guy with a dream and achieved his goals every step of the way. Costumes by Ruth E. Carter is beautiful and captures the spirit of the 70s
— Valerie Complex (@ValerieComplex) September 8, 2019
DOLEMITE IS MY NAME is very much this year's DISASTER ARTIST. Funny feal good story about outsiders who just want to make a mark. Amazing to see Eddie Murphy back on screen. #TIFF19
— Robert Daniels @ TIFF (@812filmreviews) September 8, 2019
Katey Rich of Vanity Fair raves about Ruth E. Carter‘s impeccable costume design in the film. Carter won an Academy Award for her costume work on 2018’s “Black Panther. Could this mean a return to the Oscars for her?:
Dolemite Is My Name is a triumph for a lot of people but Ruth Carter’s costumes are particularly out of this world.
— kateyrich (@kateyrich) September 8, 2019
If anyone deserves an Oscar coming out of the #TIFF19 films, it's Eddie Murphy. DOLEMITE IS MY NAME is hilarious and stacked with nuance and heart. And listen, Wesley Snipes came to remind everyone that he deserves.
Absolutely cannot wait to watch again.
— Yolanda Machado (@SassyMamainLA) September 8, 2019
DOLEMITE IS MY NAME – a delightful tribute by Eddie Murphy and co. to Rudy Ray Moore's tenacity and legacy. With the warmth of ED WOOD, a perfect foray into that era complete with committed performances and slick style, it's motherfuckin' fun. #TIFF19 pic.twitter.com/l5lPhMl8q4
— Jason Gorber is already a wreck at #Tiff19 (@filmfest_ca) September 8, 2019