Coming to America, another classic pairing between Eddie Murphy and John Landis hits its 30th Anniversary with a blu-ray release from Paramount Pictures. Murphy created the story which Landis seems to delight in bringing to the screen.
Basically a Cinderella story, the story follows Prince Akeem (Murphy) who objects to the idea of marrying someone he doesn’t love or respect, as ordained by his father, King Jaffe Joffer (James Earl Jones).
In his attempt to find a woman he can love, and respect, he and his loyal friend, Semmi (Arsenio Hall) head to America, specifically, New York, in search of a suitable bride. The pair find themselves in an urban jungle looking for love, and the laughs come fast and furious.
He soon finds himself working in a fast food joint, and falling in love with the manager’s daughter, Lisa (Shari Headley).
There’s a nice nod to the previous Landis/Muephy collaboration, Trading Places, and also a fantastic supporting cast including Frankie Faison, Eriq La Salle, John Amos, and Samuel L. Jackson.
The extras on the disc include a comprehensive making of the film doc, featurettes on the costume design, the work of the fabulous Rick Baker which helped Murphy and Hall take on a number of different roles in the film, the music of the film, a classic interview with Hall and Murphy, as well as the film’s theatrical trailer.
This is a fun film, and one of the first movies following The Golden Child that Eddie Murphy wrote the story for. It was also the first film that saw him playing multiple roles in a variety of makeup and appliances, in fact some of them are truly scene-stealing and the bits in the barber shop, and Hall’s preacher are some of the highlights of the film.
This one has aged nicely, and pairs nicely with Trading Places. In all honesty, this is the Eddie Murphy I truly enjoyed… the whole Beverly Hills Cop, Raw, Delirious era, that for me was Murphy’s work that I loved the most. And this one is a fine example of him being willing to put himself out there, and have a really good time, nothing short of hilarious.
And pairing him with his friend Aresnio Hall was a brilliant idea, and it’s unfortunate that the pair didn’t make more films together, because they work incredibly well together.
This one is one to watch and enjoy again. Check it out on blu-ray today, available from Paramount Pictures.