Coming To America: Before There Was The Undercover Boss There Was The Undercover Prince

Coming To America is a comedy film directed by John Landis. The plot sees disaffect African Prince Akeem Joffer, (Eddie Murphy), leave his kingdom and travel to America to try and escape his arranged marriage.

I had never seen this film before, I had heard of it, but never watched it so with the sequel coming soon to Amazon Prime I decided to catch up. Honestly I was disappointed.

Firstly, there are some vaguely problematic elements in the film, like white face and some of the more icky and tasteless nudity that do spoil the film a little as they are hard to ignore.

Secondly, and once again I want to stress that comedy is subjective, I did not find this film funny. It was okay and it made me smile a few times, but I didn’t find myself laughing even once. Most of the attempts at humour feel immediately flat and left me cold.

Murphy is fine in the lead, but this is far from his best role. He plays the well-meaning nice guy well, but he loses a lot of his trademark wit and sass as a result. The character of Akeem feels boring and played out, maybe at the time of release this wasn’t the case but watching it now I can think of multiple other examples of when this same plot thread (rich/privileged character trying to escape the gilded cage), has been done better before.

Overall, usually I am a big fan of Eddie Murphy, but this did nothing for me and was not funny.

Pros.

It is watchable

It made me smile a few times

Cons.

A few troublesome moments

It wasn’t funny

It felt cliched and predictable

2/5

Reviewed by Luke

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