Mr. Movie

'Imagine That' an Eddie Murphy star vehicle that's good

Eddie Murphy is Evan, a financial advisor locked in an ego battle with rival Thomas Haden Church’s Whitefeather.

-- Trailer, times, theaters.

He’s the usual distracted, all-business dad estranged from the ex-wife and delightful daughter Ella. During Evan’s time with the little girl she keeps telling him that her invisible friends accessed by a magic blanket don’t like the investments he’s picking.

When a crisis hits, Evan notices that the “friends” are dead-on accurate. That leads to a series of wonderful scenes where dad and daughter bond and where dad predictably learns what’s really important and what isn’t.

The number of times you’ve seen the story in this formulaic flick depends on your age. Whether it’s good or not depends on how tired you are of the concept and on how it is put together.

In spite of the slow beginning, the sugary ending and Thomas Haden church, this one isn’t bad. It proves if you stick the right cute charismatic kid in a worn Disneyesque plot, twist it correctly and add Murphy in charm mode passé can be palatable.

Even a curmudgeon like me enjoyed it. Imagine That.

Even harder to imagine is this curmudgeon liking an Eddie Murphy movie.

Mr. Movie rating: 3 1/2 stars

Rated PG for some mature themes. It opens Friday, June 12 at Regal’s Columbia Mall 8 and at Fairchild Cinemas 12.

5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen

4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.

3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on video.

2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.

0 stars: Speaks for itself.