It has been five years since Eddie Murphy starred in Brett Ratner’s expensive ensemble comedy Tower Heist, which probably didn’t live up to studio expectations at the box office despite having solid reviews. The following year, Murphy returned as the leading man in A Thousand Words, which was a box office bomb and earned a Bucky Larson on Rotten Tomatoes. And then in 2013 Murphy opened up to Ellen DeGeneres about making another Beverly Hills Cop film and said it was important to him that he never makes “anything else that sucks ever again.” That’s obviously a tall order, but it looks like he meant it.
In Mr. Church, Murphy returns to the big screen and he’s leaving cheesy, recycled comedy behind. This film opens on September 16, which isn’t awards season, but it’s hard to watch this trailer and not imagine that there will be a lot of “Eddie Murphy’s back!” hype surrounding his performance, as long as, you know, it doesn’t suck. Murphy plays the titular character who fulfills a promise to work as the family cook for a dying mother, and ends up becoming an important part of the daughter’s life. Bruce Beresford (Driving Miss Daisy, Double Jeopardy) directs.