The Distinguished Gentleman

Year: 1992
Studio: Hollywood Pictures
Director: Jonathan Lynn
Writer: Marty Kaplan, Jonathan Reynolds
Cast: Eddie Murphy, Lane Smith, Joe Don Baker, Grant Shaud, Kevin McCarthy, Chi McBride, Charles S Dutton
Eddie Murphy went through a dark period. Beverly Hills Cop and the films that rode its coat-tails to success were getting further behind and he was still trying to flog the same dead horse to apply his shtick to whatever comic role was going. Hence this film, Boomerang and Coming to America were all lame variations on Axel Foley's antics, and until his career renaissance in The Nutty Professor it looked like he was destined for the Hollyheap.

He plays a small time con artist who realises he has a natural talent for the biggest con of all; US Congress, where lobbyists of every political ilk are desperate to stuff money into his pockets.

Predictably, the hero finds his conscience when the injustices of the system hit home in the form of a little sick girl, and he goes about setting things right by overturning the corruption to save the day.

A microcosm of America's (and certainly much of the world's) belief that their political representatives are shamelessly co-opted by corporate interests, with Murphy as the fantasy figure in the middle of it, doing what we'd all like to do to the system, complete with comedy, the battle of good versus evil, and getting the girl in the end.

A showcase of some of the most distinctive older male support acts in American film, but in a funny if lame movie.

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