The director is ... rather distracted; John Landis seems to be browsing through the scenes rather than gobbling them down.
Starts on a bathroom joke, quickly followed by a gag about private parts, then wanders in search of something equally original for Eddie Murphy to do for another couple of hours.
Superb comic timing, a satirical edge, and Murphy's extraordinary gift for mimicry lift it right out of the trough of mediocrity to which it is all but consigned by its utterly predictable storyline.
A screenplay that seems to have escaped its doctors before it was entirely well.
The main pleasure in America comes in the romancing of prince and pauper. But the comedy is a mere handmaiden.
In Landis' hands, the film doesn't live up to even the meagerest of expectations.