Perhaps I remember the first "Nutty Professor" a
little too fondly. A film sporting the ridiculous
premise of a large scientist who takes his own
"skinny medicine" to impress the woman of his dreams.
The scheme backfires when the effect toggles
uncontrollably with one other side effect ... the
slim version has its own personality so extremely
different from Professor Sherman Klump that it also
has its own name - Buddy Love. That film was a
surprise laugh riot, with two short visits to the
Klump residence for dinner that made it a classic.
These supper scenes are stand-alone funny and
technical wonders with Eddie Murphy playing more than
just the Nutty Professor and Buddy Love. Hence a
sequel that expands Klump family involvement.
There's another reason for a sequel - 270 million
dollars. The production notes are suspiciously quick
to point that figure out. In fact they put it this
way, "Following the $270 million box office triumph
of "The Nutty Professor" in 1996, Eddie Murphy
returns to the role..." That's the first sentence in
the "About the Production" section. Perhaps this
profit anticipation diluted the formula a bit.
Buddy returns to the screen in "The Klumps." Just
as Sherman is preparing to marry the latest woman of
his dreams (Janet Jackson) and present his newest
greatest invention (youth serum), Buddy Love steps in
to fowl it all up. The sequel certainly does have its
moments - many in fact. When Sherman's horny gramma
catches Buddy sneaking around ... well lets just say
she's fixin' to give him more than just a
spanking. That scene will have you howling. And the
wise-cracking university dean played by Larry Miller
deserves more than just a few kudos for his sharply
hilarious sarcasm. He's every bit as sharp as Eddie
is. And the Klumps themselves, from the loving
bickering between dad and gramma, to the choir
singing, hand-clapping momma - you'll love this
virtual family. Eddie performs them masterfully,
while the cinematographers and make-up people create
a boisterously entertaining reality out of plastic
But good characters are only one ingredient in a
good film. Bluntly put, this one lacks the heart of
the first. In trying to re-create an old magic, it
fails to invent its own new magic. And though I hate
to say it, this picture about science professors
needs more chemistry. The look and feel of the
production itself is 1980's with an "E.T." kind of
cartoony-exagerration to details that would have been
better off left realistic. I.E.: the liquid solutions
are all bright primary colors; lightening strikes the
night Klump takes another serum in hopes of
extracting his "Mr. Hide;" and in order to test his
dwindling intelligence, Sherman uses a computer
simulated maze to race a lab rat around a real maze.
(BTW, they missed a good computer mouse joke there.)
Also, I like shocking toilet humor as much as the
next guy, but this film way-overplayed its "big butt"
card and overspent its fart joke allowance. And
lastly, Buddy Love is simply more annoying and less
endearing this time around.
These uninspired factors conspire to "thin-out"
the effect of the funnier more inspired scenes. I
loved the first "Nutty Professor," but was a bit
disappointed after eagerly awaiting this sequel.