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" holy man " boasts a sweet , gentle , comic performance from an unusually subdued eddie murphy and a few moderately funny skits .
unfortunately , to get to the good stuff you have to sit through a painfully long set-up , loads of tedious filler , interminable shots of jeff goldblum stammering and twitching , a superfluous romantic subplot and quite possibly the most annoying performance of robert loggia's career .
if ever a movie screamed " wait for video so you can fast-forward through all the dull and annoying parts , " this is it .
eddie murphy plays g , a robed nomadic pilgrim wandering the land enjoying the moment and spreading his spiritual message .
a chance meeting with ricky hayman ( goldblum ) , a stressed-out executive of a home-shopping channel , and kate newell ( kelly preston ) , a no-nonsense media analyst , results in physical injury to g . quicker than you can say " the odd couple , " g ends up rooming with an extremely leery ricky .
after some script gymnastics , g appears live on the air at the good buy shopping network , wreaking havoc on the cheesy product demonstrations , enraging network owner mr . mcbainbridge ( loggia ) , and becoming a national media sensation .
" holy man " attempts to be several things at once .
it tries to satirize home shopping networks , but it's difficult to effectively make fun of something that is already a self-parody .
the film attempts to teach us that collecting material possessions is merely a futile attempt to fill the spiritual holes in our hearts , but that's common knowledge already .
" holy man " also tries to present a story of redemption , as ricky hayman tries to decide whether to exploit g's good will to achieve financial security or do the right thing at the expense of his career .
anyone want to place a wager on his final decision ?
the one genuine asset in " holy man " is eddie murphy , who gives a charming performance , sharing love , good will and relevant advice to all those around him , while beaming his million dollar smile at just the right moments .
murphy is delightful and the film takes off whenever he's onscreen .
unfortunately , he's not onscreen enough .
jeff goldblum gets the lion's share of screen time and his tired storyline weighs the proceedings down .
as his potential love interest , kelly preston tries to brighten things up , but she transforms from an all-business media shark to an empathic softy far too quickly and the abrupt change reeks of contrivance .
the other principal actor , robert loggia , wastes his talents in a one-note turn as a ruthless , screaming monster .
structurally unsound and way too long , " holy man " is appealing when murphy is onscreen and dull when he isn't .
instead of dropping your money at the theater for this trifle , wait until it hits video and fast-forward past everything except the murphy scenes .
g suggests that we focus on enjoying the moment and that's the best way to do so .