Eddie Murphy is one of the most alarmingly gifted comic actors America has ever produced but he persists in making comedies that are beneath him. I'm thinking most recently of "Norbit" but, of course, the list goes on and on. He's also alarmingly versatile. Anybody who could play the chubster in "The Nutty Professor" and the junkie crooner in "Dreamgirls" with equal success can do just about anything.
In "Meet Dave," Murphy is once again, however lucratively, marking time. Dave is an alien spaceship shaped as a human entity – it looks like, surprise, Eddie Murphy – that crash-lands in New York. The ship is piloted by a miniature captain, also played by Murphy.
The human-sized Dave has numerous comic encounters in New York and some of them, such as the scene where he dances salsa or attempts to mimic a couple kissing in Central Park, are laugh-out-loud funny. But there's a sappy subplot involving Elizabeth Banks as a single mom that seems designed to inform us that, yes, spaceships are people, too. When will Eddie Murphy think as highly of his talents as we do? Grade: C (Rated PG for bawdy and suggestive humor, action and some language.)