Plot: What’s it about?
1992 was a pretty decent year for movies and the overall box office. Basic Instinct got the year off to an…interesting start lighting up the numbers and making Sharon Stone a household name. Batman Returns showed that the dark knight had staying power and Tom Hanks, Geena Davis and Madonna were playing ball in A League of Their Own. That fall would give us films like Aladdin, The Bodyguard and A Few Good Men. Suffice it to say that this was a year to remember when it came to the big screen. And then we have Eddie Murphy. With the 80’s behind him, Murphy (and studios) were trying to see if he still had the midas touch. And, given this film’s box office numbers ($70 million in 1992 dollars) – he did. I personally prefer his “other” 1992 film – The Distinguished Gentleman, but here we have Boomerang. For true fans of the film, it’s been a three decade wait to get this on Blu-ray. The wait is over, was it worth it?
Murphy stars as advertising exec Marcus Graham, successful at work, and in the bedroom. He has a reputation for being a playboy, although he doesn’t really want to be one — he just seems to lose interest after the relationships have been consummated. Due to a recent merger, Murphy finds himself with a new boss, the sultry, intelligent Jacqueline Broyer (Robin Givens), every bit Marcus’ equal in talent at work, and in the bedroom. Now that he’s found his match, Marcus also finds himself on the other end of the relationship spectrum, falling for a woman that only uses him to have a good time. Marcus doesn’t know what to do about his newfound feelings of being the submissive on in the relationship, leaving him as needy and confused as all of the women he loved and left in a hurry.
Credit has to be given to Murphy for stepping out of his comfort zone. He made his name as a comedian and action star, and this role thrust him into the sensitive, romantic comedy genre. It didn’t work. That’s not to say the movie is bad, but it wasn’t the style of film for Murphy. And the 90’s were littered with more misses than hits for the actor. For every The Nutty Professor or Doctor Dolittle, we had Metro and Beverly Hills Cop III. Oddly, the film might be best remembered for an early Halle Berry appearance. She was just starting to make a name for herself as an actress with notable roles before this like Jungle Fever and The Last Boy Scout. We’re also treated to cameos by Chris Rock, Martin Lawrence and David Allen Grier. While the film was a modest success, it signaled the “beginning of the end” of Murphy’s amazing run in the 80’s.
Video: How’s it look?
The Blu-ray format has been around since 2006, but this is the first time that we’ve seen this movie on said format. Was it worth the wait? In a word…no. While the 1.78:1 AVC HD encode looks better than its DVD predecessor, I just felt that it was somewhat of a lackluster effort. It checks all the boxes, for sure, with improved detail, strong and bold colors and the like but it just seemed…lacking. I think we’ve become so spoiled by 4K films that anything that doesn’t sparkle in 1080 lines of resolution, we deem as sub par. The Blu-ray format is a victim of its own success. Fans of the film probably won’t care how good or bad this looks and even if they do, there’s not a lot that can be done. Paramount has done wonders for some of their other catalog films, I don’t know why this couldn’t have been one of them.
Audio: How’s it sound?
The included DTS HD Master Audio mix features a few good moments, mainly in the soundtrack, but it follows the “rules” of a romantic comedy. Vocals are sharp and crisp, surrounds are somewhat active during a few key scenes, though the lion’s share of the action comes from the front stage. Simply put, there’s just not a lot to say about this one. It’s not bad by any means, but it won’t have you looking for the remote to turn it down, either.
Supplements: What are the extras?
- Audio Commentary – Director Reginald Hudlin’s track has some noteworthy moments, but by and large it’s pretty lackluster. Granted, I wasn’t totally into it in the first place so I put it in the “this is nice to have” category, but this is the first and last time I’ll ever access it.
- Deleted and Extended Scenes – Nearly five minutes’ worth of the aforementioned scenes are available with optional commentary by Hudlin.
The Bottom Line
Murphy’s foray into the “sensitive, leading man” category didn’t last long. Boomerang shows Murphy as a player with a heart. And…that’s not how he made his name. I know actors like to take risks, but you’ve also got to go with what you’re good at. And he figured this out – eventually. This inaugural Blu-ray both looks and sounds decent, but nothing extraordinary. If this film is your thing, it’s on the format. And if not, that’s fine as well.