08/07/2000 at 01:00 AM EDT
Eddie Murphy, Janet Jackson
Martin Lawrence may have done it first this summer in Big Momma's House, but Eddie Murphy does it better. Wear a dress, that is. Nutty Professor II: The Klumps is quite the tour de farce, demonstrating convincingly that the more Murphy (he plays six different characters, two women and four men) the merrier. And this patchy sequel to Murphy's 1996 comedy, itself a remake of Jerry Lewis's 1963 film, can use all the Murphy it can get.
The Klumps is once again about the romantic woes of Prof. Sherman Klump (Murphy), a hefty genius. Shy Sherman hopes to marry a fellow scientist (Jackson, who barely registers) and market a youth formula he has invented, but runs into trouble when Buddy Love (Murphy), his oversexed evil alter ego, returns. Helping Sherman out are his boisterous kin, including his kindly mother, impotent father, resentful older brother and randy grandma—all brought to life by Murphy.
The extended Klump clan made a brief showing in the first Nutty Professor, but the family dominates here, which is just fine given that Murphy seems happiest (and funniest) when wearing a fat suit, wig and mounds of makeup. He gives each Klump a distinct voice and personality, and also gets to perform what just may be a film first: When Buddy Love and the grandma lock lips, Murphy is smooching with himself.
Murphy is more fun than the movie, which is relentlessly vulgar and doesn't have much of a plot. Note to parents: Don't take children under 12 unless you want to explain all about gastrointestinal distress and the dangers posed by nearby flaming candles, Viagra and one character's unusual encounter with a giant hamster. (PG-13)
Bottom Line: Murphy to the max