Eddie Murphy's first "The Nutty Professor" was filled with bathroom humor, sexual jokes and cruel insults. Yet despite its juvenile slant, it came off as a magical and charming film.
The credit for that feat was mostly due to Murphy's critically acclaimed, Golden Globe-nominated performance as Sherman Klump, a lovable, obese science professor. But the film was appealing also because of its underlying theme: that despite one's outward appearance, it's what lies inside the heart that really counts.
Unfortunately, what lies inside the heart of "Nutty Professor II: The Klumps" is a bunch of barely amusing jokes. Make no mistake about it, the movie is one big, fat mess, and that has nothing to do with the oversized girths of its main characters.
When we last saw Sherman Klump, he had managed to rid himself of his slim, obnoxious and oversexed alter ego Buddy Love (Murphy), who came to life after the insecure Klump developed a weight-loss concoction.
But to Sherman's dismay, he discovers there is still a little bit of Buddy inside him -- enough to blurt out the crude phrase, "Let me put beef in your taco!" -- putting a serious crimp in his new relationship with professor Denise Gaines (Janet Jackson).
In an effort to remove the last bit of Buddy, Sherman goes to the lab once again. Although he succeeds in getting the Buddy gene removed from his body, it becomes an entirely separate person, who finds a way to make even more trouble for Sherman.
Back for the sequel is the Klump clan -- lovable Mama, irascible Papa, dimwitted brother Ernie and horny Granny. Murphy dazzles under mounds of prosthetic makeup to become the Klumps, giving each character such distinct flair that you forget they are played by the same person.
But even with the expanded roles of the Klumps, the film drags, primarily because the plot is so weak.
In addition, Jackson's performance as Gaines is not impressive. Her performance is one-dimensional and bland. At a recent screening, the audience reacted to her only when she wore something that revealed her ample bosom -- and that reaction was laughter.