Coming to America - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Coming to America Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ June 13, 2006
John Landis directs this funny film about a pampered African prince named Akeem who, not happy about being in an arranged marriage, and getting tired of a pampered lifestyle, heads to America to try living like a regualr guy and find a wife on his own terms. It's basically just one big update of the Prince and the Pauper/fish out of water sort of thing, but, since this is the 80s, it features Eddie Murphy when he was still tremendously funny AND making good movies...I miss those days.

Murphy is great as Akeem, though he seems a bit mroe subdued in the lead. Thankfully, he plays multiple characters, and this give him the chance to really let loose when he takes on those other roles. He's famolus for it now, but this is the first time he did this routine. Arsenio Hall gets in on the fun too, and the best side character each plays would have to be the Jewish man at the barber shop for Eddie (the makeup job is superb and very convincing), and the crazy lady at the bar for Hall.

Too bad those guys didn't work together all the time, or weren't able to stay in their prime forever, because they have grrat chemistry together, and this is when they were at some of their best. We also get appearances from James Earl Jones (who gets to be atypical and silly), as well as a stand out, but all too brief cameo from Samuel L. Jackson (in his second ever film role) as a bum who tries to hold up a fast food joint. It's a brilliant and extremely memorable scene.

The film is funny throughout, but it feels like the best stuff is few and far between. Also, the film feels a little long and draggy at times, as if the great director John Landis was just very unfocused and unsure of how to use all of the great talent at hand to its fullest.

All in all though, this is some good stuff, though perhaps a bit overrated. It's funny, yeah, but underwhelming. It's still worth a look though.
Super Reviewer
April 27, 2007
Remember the days when Eddie Murphy's movies were actually funny? It seems but a distant memory now, but every once in a while I make a little re-visit to the 80's, just to remind myself of a time when it wasn't all about fat suits and farting at the dinner table. Granted that he plays a multitude of roles in this one too, but at least the jokes are on the money and the make-up extremely convincing. A hilarious fish-out-of-water comedy, that even more than 20 years after its making, is still as side-splitting as ever. This, along with "Beverly Hills Cop", are my hands down favourite Eddie Murphy flicks, that always manages to get a laugh out of me. Not to mention the great supporting cast, which includes a prime-performing Arsenio Hall, the legendary James Earl Jones and a brief, but memorable cameo by Samuel L. Jackson. Maybe not a comedy to everyone's taste, but I for one really love it.
Super Reviewer
June 23, 2011
It was an ok film, nothing great.
Super Reviewer
September 6, 2010
This movie is hilarious. I think it's the first time Murphey attempted to play more than one character, and I didn't even notice it was him at first. The story is a romantic comedy and a fish out of water tale as well. It's a great movie, and I highly recommend it.
Super Reviewer
½ November 16, 2010
A hilarious classic movie that should be seen at least once by any true comedy fan. Playing not only on the class and race divides of America, this movie also brings to light the lesser portrayed subject of human interaction at its most basic level and highlights how people would treat others were they stripped of their reconceived notions of their wealth and stature. Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall play multiple roles wonderfully in this movie and it should be remembered as one of Murphy's finest, with a cameo from James Earl Jones really sealing the deal on this one!
Super Reviewer
July 23, 2010
An iconic movie that shows Murphy in his best light.
Super Reviewer
½ June 10, 2007
Eddie Murphy at the top of his game! Coming to America is easily one of his best movies, this is the Murphy that I would love to have come back to us. If you don't laugh tons of times while you watch this, you seriously do not have any sense of humor.
Super Reviewer
December 13, 2009
It is not an American Movie, it is not an Asian Movie it is not a European Movie it a Eddie Murphy Movie.
Super Reviewer
August 2, 2009
If ever you are doubting Eddie Murphy as an actor after seeing Norbit, Meet Dave or really any of his recent work, watch Coming to America. It incorporates his playing multiple characters ability and gives him a chance to use his incredible alienation ability to its full potential. The story itself is great, a funny version of the whole "should i marry him for his money" movie. Great film to sit down and laugh at without having to think too much in between.

Defining Scene:
That fantastic joke by the Jewish gentleman in the barbers, fantastic.
Super Reviewer
June 12, 2006
Prince Akeem: But when I marry, I want the woman to love me for who I am, not because of what I am.
King Jaffe Joffer: And who are you?
Prince Akeem: I am a man who has never tied his own shoes.
King Jaffe Joffer: Wrong. You are a PRINCE who has never tied his own shoes. I tied my own shoes once. It is an overrated experience.

This is one of the movies that show off everything that makes up the talent of Eddie Murphy. He takes on multiple roles, plays a fun character himself, and has a good supporting cast to bounce off of.

Murphy stars, in his main role, as Akeem, Prince of Zamunda. He has become bored of royal life in Africa, and does not desire to have a bride chosen for him with no sense of her own. He decides to travel to America to seek a bride of his own choice, who will like him for him. Coming with him is his servant Semmi, played by an equally good Arsenio Hall.

Murphy and Hall both go under different makeup sessions to play many of the other characters popping up in the movie, including an entire barbershop, which features an elderly, white, Jewish man.

Saul: A man has the right to change his name to vatever he vants to change it to. And if a man vants to be called Muhammad Ali, godammit this is a free country, you should respect his vishes, and call the man Muhammad Ali!
Morris: His mamma call him Clay, imma call him Clay.

At the core of this story, there is a good romantic comedy that is sweet to its characters, which makes it a good film as a whole.

Prince Akeem: Is it just me, or does every woman in New York have a severe emotional problem?

It also helps that the supporting cast has James Earl Jones as King of Zamunda, and small cameos from Louis Anderson and Sam Jackson.

Much of the comedy of course comes from the fish out of water aspect, as Murphy and Hall must learn the ways of America, and coast through New York in a blissful, naive way.

Very funny, with good multiple cast work from Murphy and Hall.

Prince Akeem: Fascinating. Semmi, look at this. America is great indeed. Imagine a country so free, you can throw out broken glass on the streets.
Super Reviewer
½ June 20, 2008
It's the 80's and this film has no shame in that. Moderately funny it's atypical prince to pauper scenario, like a reverse version of Aladdin. Eddie Murphy is wonderful in his role even if it is a bit subdued, resulting in him taking other roles to really let loose. A good supporting cast and hilarious moments are let down by the fact the laughs are far to infrequent.
Super Reviewer
½ July 28, 2006
A comical 80?s comedy, that?s still great to revisit today. A riches to rags story of love, watch out for the cameo role from Samuel L. Jackson. I have watched this film countless times.
Super Reviewer
½ March 1, 2008
Murphy and Arsenio, should have done more movies together, great concept and lines.
Super Reviewer
January 3, 2007
A perfect comedy. Murphy and Hall are brilliant and the script is wonderful. the humor is unmatched and the stroy takes turns before arriving at the expected but welcomed ending. one of the best comedies ever made.
Super Reviewer
July 30, 2007
The beginning of Eddie Murphy being more than one character. That's good and bad.
Super Reviewer
December 31, 2006
One of Eddie Murphy's funniest films. Makes me laugh every time.
Super Reviewer
½ July 14, 2007
Eddie is briiliant in this Africa meets New York movie. Eddie is a prince in search of a bride.
Super Reviewer
½ December 28, 2006
The kind of by the numbers comedy that lives or dies by the likeability and comic touch of the star. Fortunately this was made when Murphy still had both.
Super Reviewer
December 28, 2006
Classic Eddie. Arsino Hall was great in this flick as well. Both played a few different characters.
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