Harlem Nights **

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“Harlem Nights” is a weird movie. I am not sure if it is supposed to be a gangster movie or a satire of a gangster movie. The characters are all painted with broad strokes and given dialogue that is way over the top. Especially Eddie Murphy, who more or less plays the same character he milked through most of the 80s.

Murphy writes and directs this film. My problem is that he never really finds a balance between the supposedly street hard characters and the stand up style humor. Sequences go on forever with dialogue that doesn’t seem to suit the subject matter.

Richard Pryor also stars and in almost every scene he looks like a deer in the headlights. Danny Aiello also appears and seems to possess a self kidding attitude as if he isn’t really sure this is an actual movie.

“Harlem Nights” needs a better director in my opinion. Someone who can really find the right tone and maybe refine the script. As it stands this is an awkward movie that should not of seen the light of day.

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