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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Nutty Professor 2: The Klumps
Nutty Professor 2: The Klumps
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Review by Aaron Beierle | posted November 11, 2000 | E-mail the Author
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C O N T E N T
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A U D I O
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R E P L A Y
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The Movie:

"Nutty Professor 2" is one of those rare movies that I felt was actually not only slightly better, but noticably better than the original. But it still doesn't quite work for the entire running time. Instead of having Sherman Klump(Murphy) as a character who is just a target for humiliation and embarassment, "2" gives the character a chance to be a real, feeling person - and as a result the rest of the film around him works better.

The film seems as if the creators decided that the scenes with The Klumps around the table in the first film deserved to be expanded into a feature-length project - and they were right to think so. The film revolves around Sherman and new sweetheart(played nicely by Janet Jackson) coming up with a new fountain of youth formula. But Sherman's alter-ego Buddy Love is not gone for good - Sherman separates him from himself midway through the film, and when he appears once again, he wants the profits from Sherman's formula.

There are a few too many fart jokes for the film's own good, as they begin to get a little repetitive at times. There's also a couple of subplots for the rest of the Klump family, but the character that I still think is the most funny is the father, because he seems the least cartoonish. All of this is put together by quite a few writers, which suprisingly include the "American Pie" writer/director duo of Chris and Paul Weitz.

Murphy isn't bad, and again, shows his ability to practically have an "Eddie Murphy Show" as he takes on several characters in the span of one film. Janet Jackson turns in a fine performance as Sherman's girlfriend, as well. Larry Miller returns as the dean, and has one scene with a giant hamster that I don't even want to get into.

The film is a little shaky, but generally works up until about 3/4ths of the way through, when it pretty much runs out of places to go with the material. I liked the way that Sherman was more regarded as a real person here, not just the target of jokes(well, for the most part). There's a bit of a message about acceptance, a bunch of laughs, and quite a few raunchy jokes - some work, some don't. I actually liked the film more on the small screen where some of the jokes seemed to work even a bit better. In the theater, I missed a few moments since the rest of the crowd was laughing so hard.

Overall, I'm positive about the movie. It runs out of material now and then, but an attempt was made to try and make more of an actual story and keep the jokes coming quicker than they were in the first film.

The DVD
VIDEO: Universal has put together a fine presentation for "The Klumps" in the film's original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. Although it's not stunning, I think it's definitely above average in comparison to many of the studio's releases. Sharpness and detail are excellent consistently. Clarity is strong throughout, even in the darker sequences. Most comedies aren't visually very appealing, but "Nutty Professor 2" is lucky to have cinematographer Dean Semler, whose work can also be seen in films like "Dances With Wolves". He adds some very nice touches to what could have been an otherwise average looking picture.

Colors are excellent, with rich, bold colors coming through very clearly and without flaw. There are a few minor problems that turn up otherwise. A few very small, very brief instances of pixelation turn up, but it doesn't become a distraction. With the print looking so crisp and clean, the viewing experience remains an otherwise very pleasant one.

SOUND: The first film's Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack had a few fun moments with the audio, but mostly was a dialogue-driven experience. "The Klumps" does expand a bit on the first film's sound, with additional surround use and a sound that's a bit more active in general.

Still, at heart, this is a comedy, and like most comedies, this is a pretty dialogue-driven movie.The score fills the room quite well and dialogue sounds clear and is easily heard, although if you're watching with a crowd, you might miss a few jokes that are overshadowed by the laughs of those you're with.

MENUS:: The main menu is nicely done, with fun animation of Murphy's character and clips from the movie. The most annoying thing is that once we leave the menu and go into the movie, we're confronted by an advertisement for "Jurassic Park" and "The Lost World" for DVD and VHS, but thankfully this as well as the usual Universal "trailer" can be skipped past with the remote.

EXTRAS:
Commentary: This is a very funny commentary from director Peter Segal. Although much of what he talks about is technical information such as production details or makeup tricks, he's also quite funny at times, providing some very funny jokes about what happened on the set. Or, as he says during the commentary, "it's hard telling jokes in a room by yourself while you're watching your own movie."

He also talks about a few other interesting subjects, such as a couple of scenes where the MPAA had to get itself involved to cut out a couple of jokes. He also tells a few production secrets, such as what the formula really is made out of and the way that some scenes originally were going to be played. Again, Segal is very funny and is able to offer quite a bit of interesting tidbits with only few pauses in the discussion. Definitely worth a listen.

Commentary Two: This is another commentary - sort of - with director Peter Segal and producer Brian Grazer. It's a very funny and informative mini-track, as it only goes for a little while before stopping. The producer seems a bit nervous about his commentary skills as it's his first track, but he steps up quite well to provide his viewpoint on the film's humor during the track. Segal does repeat some of the comments that he offers during the first track from the film, but I think that the Grazer-Segal pairing is a very good one, and provides some informative moments and additional laughs. Unfortunately, it only goes for a little less than half of the movie.

Additional scenes: Universal provides two sequences here; a very funny extended version of the restaurant sequence(which is good because I still think it's the funniest scene in the movie) and an additional deleted scene where Sherman and Denise discuss moving into a house and having a family of their own. It's a nice scene that may have worked in the movie.

Outtakes A few minutes worth of outtakes; as "outtakes" go, most of these are actually quite funny.

Spotlight On Location: Another one of Universal's "Spotlight On Location" documentaries, this one works pretty well in providing the viewer information about the film's production details such as the makeup and effects. The documentary does have to get the usual stuff out of the way first, such as interviews about the story and characters with Murphy, Grazer and others. Some of the interviews are a bit dry, but provide the occasional funny remark. Discussions with ace make-up artist Rick Baker are the most informative parts of the documentary, and unfortunately it takes a little too long through the promotional material to get there, but thankfully...


Make-Up...There is an additional featurette about the make-up. Through the magic of time-lapse photography, we see every single detail of Eddie's change into Papa Klump and Ernie Klump.

Storyboards: Although I'd almost think that a movie like this would go rather freely and work with the moment, this section proves me wrong. Storyboard to final scene comparisons are offered for four scenes from the movie - "The Wedding", "Bachelorette Party", "The Hamster" and "Baby Buddy".

Music Video: Janet Jackson's "Doesn't Really Matter" video, which uses what looks to be leftover sets from "The 5th Element".

Also: Theatrical trailer(1.85:1/2.0), Production Notes, Cast and Crew Bios and Recommendations.

Final Thoughts: The movie is occasionally very funny and Universal's DVD provides good quality in all areas. The kind of humor portrayed here isn't for everyone, but for those who enjoy that kind of raunchy humor, "Nutty 2" is recommended.

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