Coming to America (Blu-ray) product details page

Coming to America (Blu-ray)

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Coming to America is a sweet, amiable comedy that reunites the director (John Landis) and star (Eddie Murphy) of Trading Places. Murphy abandons the foul-mouthed raunchiness of his most recent project (the concert film Raw) to play Prince Akeem, a wide-eyed innocent. But the film is most original and best remembered as the first time Murphy played multiple characters in the same movie, an impressive gimmick that would translate to major box-office success down the road with The Nutty Professor. As two of the three salty barber shop denizens involved in the same argument about boxing, Murphy not only wowed with a range unseen outside of his stand-up act, but provided a great showcase for makeup king Rick Baker, who renders Murphy unrecognizable as an aged Jewish man. The writing, by Landis and two others, includes not only the sharp barber shop repartee and Akeem's refreshingly naïve interaction with New York City, but also several humorous jabs at black culture of the mid-'80s, including the Soul Glo hair gel model played by a young Eriq LaSalle. Funny and observant, but just shy of classic status, Coming to America is a winning, fish-out-of-water movie, elevated by Murphy's exhilarating versatility and the game attempts of then-collaborator Arsenio Hall. Among the supporting performances, John Amos is hilarious as owner of a McDonald's restaurant knockoff, and in only his second film appearance, Samuel L. Jackson pops up as a hold-up man, offering a funny early incarnation of the intense street hood that would one day make him famous. Derek Armstrong, All Movie Guide