In the early 1990’s, Eddie Murphy’s career has began to deteriorate, due to a string of critical disappointments one film after another. It wasn’t until 1996, when his career literally gained a couple of pounds by starring in the Sci-Fi Comedy, The Nutty Professor. This was the movie that defibrillated his reputation which gained him critical and box office success. His role as Sherman Klump/Buddy Love, alongside his onscreen family members he played, granted him a Golden Globe nomination. Four years later, his career has once again, began to crumble starting with a sequel to The Nutty Professor, following other disasters such as The Adventures Of Pluto Nash, The Haunted Mansion, Norbit, Meet Dave, and Imagine That. Thanks to his role as Donkey in the Shrek films, he remains a living teeter totter with his profession going up and down. One of his big disasters for this Flashback Review is a stinker called Daddy Day Care.
Daddy Day Care was released in 2003. (same year The Haunted Mansion came out) It received a bunch of negative reviews and the movie was a box office success.
The following review contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t seen it, read at your own risk.
Positive & Negative Elements
Positive: Eddie Murphy, Jeff Garlin, & Steve Zahn, all did a good job on their performances.
Before The Flash was introduced in the DC Extended Universe, this was the closest thing to see The Flash on the silver screen until Warner Bros. (WB for short) hired Ezra Miller to put on the red spandex for Justice League and a solo film.
Two songs by Jackson 5, play in a Montage Sequence and The Final Scene. Eddie Murphy worked with Michael Jackson’s sister Janet, in The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps.
Speaking of Klumps, a couple of fart scenes got me laughin’ hysterically.
Cinematography felt normal without any problems whatsoever.
Charlie (Murphy’s character) reads Green Egg & Ham to The Kids. Coincidentally, The Cat In The Hat came out the same year as Daddy Day Care. A five year old Elle Fanning, (Dakota Fanning’s real life sister) appears in this movie. Dakota co-starred in The Cat In The Hat. I heavily despise Mike Myers’ god awful Dr. Seuss’ live action adaptation! If the movie shows them reading The Cat In The Hat, I would’ve given it a big fat con.
My favorite part of the whole film is when Larry David’s sidekick from Curb Your Enthusiasm, sings and dances to Cheap Trick’s song, “Surrender.”
During a Star Trek puppet show, one of the adults came up with a love story between Spock & Uhura. I bet this scene encouraged J.J. Abrams (director of the 2009 reboot) to make this romance canon. He probably watched it with his kids.
Fun Fact: Eddie claims that he’s a big fan of Star Trek since the original series aired.
Eddie Murphy’s character is named Charlie. Perhaps an inside joke to his late older brother Charlie Murphy?
Negative: Product Placement featuring the following brands including, Apple, Panda Express, Oreo’s, Little Debbie’s, Goldfish, and Coca-Cola. Courtesy of Sony owning a percentage of The Coca-Cola Company.
Most of the kid actors can be pretty annoying at times. It must be hard to give certain child actors praise.
I didn’t laugh throughout the entire movie. Except for a couple of fart jokes, Cheap Trick, and a messy bathroom scene.
The movie manages to get away with a joke about child predators. I’m surprised I didn’t get the joke when I was nine when it first came out. Now that I’m older, I understand what it means, and I’ll have to Triple Down the Points. Ever heard of “Everyone Has Standards” on TV Tropes?
The Children destroy most of the paperwork. When a Child Services employee was hired by Morticia Addams & Eliza Thornberry, he returns to get the documents signed. He just takes it and approves. Nobody does that in Real Life! Imagine if your teacher at school just said it’s fine that your pet chewed your essay. In the real world, you get a time out by sitting in the corner, due to not showing proper care of responsibility.
An Optional Con for those who are big time arachnophobes like me, one of the kids brings their pet tarantula for “Take Your Pet Day.” Speaking of spiders, Shelob from “The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King” made her gigantic (no pun intended) film debut stalking Frodo Baggins. Both Daddy Day Care & Return Of The King cake out in 2003.
At a fundraiser to generate a much bigger day care, nobody notices The Villain sabotaging various attractions. Most notably, a scene with her swapping facepaint with superglue on the table, were a little girl is present as a witness! Was everybody blind like Daredevil?!
The Final Verdict: D, FOR DEEP DOODIE!
From the moment I saw Daddy Care as a kid, I thought it made my belly laugh. Years later, I realize that this is just a steamy smelly pile of big doo doo. If you’re an Eddie Murphy fan and you want to introduce your kids to his films. I highly recommend The Nutty Professor, Mulan, Shrek, and it’s sequels. That’ll get them satisfied like you.