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Imagine That



Sometimes readers tell me that they're not sure whether or not I actually liked a particular movie. See if you can tell about "Imagine That."

I hate this movie. Eddie Murphy ("Meet Dave") plays Evan, a workaholic who has never established a relationship with his daughter Olivia (Yara Shahidi, TV's "In the Motherhood"). His ex-wife, with whom the first grader now lives, berates him for this and then, because she's got a busy week at work, forces him to take the kid.

Evan is in the financial advice business and accidentally discovers that Olivia can visit her personal fantasy land and acquire reliable information about the business world. I'll pause until you wipe that look of incredulity off your face. Now that he's found a way to exploit her, Evan and Olivia become buddies.

A business rival, Johnny Whitefeather (Thomas Hayden Church, "Smart People"), exploits his American Indian shtick to get his financial information, and gets his son blitzed on Red Bull so he can go on a vision quest and "? oh, hell, it's just child abuse played for laughs. Nothing about this movie is true or honest, and I've never seen a movie for children that treats them so shabbily.

Directed by Karey Kirkpatrick ("Over the Hedge"), "Imagine That" sinks even lower than "Hannah Montana" to become the worst film of the year to date. Everyone involved should be ashamed, if not investigated by California's Child Protective Services.

"?Doug Bentin


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