Even though he provides his usual shtick facial contortions, grimaces and fits of hysteria minus a fat suit, “Imagine That” isn’t Eddie Murphy’s best movie. “Imagine” is a predictable, but entertaining tale that provides few laughs with unfortunately even fewer surprises.
Murphy plays successful financial executive Evan Danielson, whose bitter rivalry with co-worker Whitefeather (a pseudo Native American) monopolizes all his time.
Both Evan and Whitefeather (Thomas Haden Church) have their eye on becoming head of their company’s west coast division when their boss announces his retirement. As result, Evan spends more time with his blackberry than with his seven-year-old daughter Olivia (Yara Shahidi). That is until Evan’s career starts to spiral down, and Olivia helps her father by introducing him to her imaginary friends three princesses and a queen who offer winning stock tips.
Suddenly, Evan becomes the company’s cash cow, successfully advising clients on long shot investments that pay off in big dividends. Predictably enough, Whitefather (who mixes tribal folklore with finance) spends all his time trying to find evidence that Evan is inside trading. The more successful Evan becomes, the more Olivia starts to feel that her father is more interested in stock tips than her. Now Evan has to decide what’s more important, Olivia or balancing his customer’s portfolio.
“Imagine That” leads to several funny moments such as Murphy dancing in public with a blanket over his head (a requirement to enter the fairy kingdom), and sneaking into a fast food restaurant’s kids only play area to retrieve the magic blanket, where he’s pelted with rubber balls.
Filmed in Denver (the Mile-High City), there are a few inside jokes that Coloradoans will probably catch, such as Whitefeather who looks and acts suspiciously like a controversial University of Colorado professor who also claims to be Native American, and cameos by popular Denver sports figures and several references to the Denver Broncos.
“Imagine That” offers good family fare in a summer chalked full of adult theme movies.