Eddie Murphy is set to star in a film inspired by 1993’s Grumpy Old Men. The flick, about two ornery sons of guns who’ve just discovered Viagra, and their hot neighbor, should never be remade though. This is in no way suggesting that the film, starring Walter Matthau, Jack Lemmon and Ann-Margret (or it’s sequel, 1995’s Grumpier Old Men) was cinematic perfection too holy to touch, let alone imitate. Rather, it’s because, to paraphrase the OG Willy Wonka, if you want to view grumpy old men, simply look around view them. It’s true: if you make it to a certain age, you get wrinkly, and you get angry. Reality is cheaper than a movie, and you probably have at least one uncle you hope your friends never meet.
That said, it’d take a curmudgeonly old pair, indeed, to make this film have any chance. So it’s a good thing that Samuel L. Jackson’s name has been floated as Murphy’s potential co-star. It’s an odd turn of phrase, given the state of their respective careers. Jackson, putting aside his massive role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the Star Wars prequels has been putting out films consistently, while Murphy has just two live action credits to his name this decade. Murphy’s best, most recent claim to fame is probably his VO work in the Shrek franchise as Donkey, but even there, Jackson has outdone him with more recent work in both Incredibles 2and The Boondocks.
Tim Story has been pegged to direct, but despite having seven box office No. 1 debuts and the honor of being the first African American director to reach 1 billion dollars in total box office sales, he also made the first two Fantastic Four films, something that can never be forgiven, and something that certainly doesn’t bode well for this latest remake.
And now the optimist’s take: we can only hope this is all wrong and this movie proves to be hilarious. Even so, you’re probably better served waiting for the fourth Beverly Hills Cop(announced) if you want vintage Murphy back on the silver screen.