During his career, Eddie Murphy has played--among other things--a dragon, a nutty professor, an R & B performer, an animal doctor and a talking donkey. Now he's starring as a complex alien spaceship disguised as a human being.
Commanded by a miniature captain (also played by Eddie Murphy) and a tiny crew, the spaceship does a face-plant on Liberty Island in New York harbor. Their mission is to recover one of their probes that accidentally fell into the hands of a child (Austyn Myers).
But maneuvering the adult-sized ship through the streets of New York in search of their orb proves to be a challenge for the diminutive aliens. In order to fit in, they begin mimicking the actions of the city dwellers. However, the crew gets a close up encounter with mankind when a speeding New Yorker unintentionally runs over Dave (the name of the spaceship) with her car.
Quick to apologize, Gina (Elizabeth Banks) invites the stranger into her apartment and immediately unloads on him the sad state of her life. For the crew, who hales from a planet where feelings and passions are limited, it's a scramble to make sense of the vast array of human emotions to which they are exposed.p>But for earthling audiences, this alien-out-of-his-orbit storyline is anything but emotionally engaging. Comedic timing, like Dave's attempts at walking, is stilted and awkward. Too many of the lines seem to be delivered in a sound booth separate from the rest of the cast. Dave's glassy-eyed stare and his exaggerated attempts to imitate people's behavior also makes it hard to warm up to the spaced-out rocket. Although bathroom jokes and laser blasts remain moderately minimal, the film lacks any real belly laughs or even any minor chuckles--making Dave one alien you won't want to roll out the welcome mat for.