Murphy's principal role in the movie is that of Prince Akeem, with Arsenio Hall as his sidekick and personal servant Semi (though both play numerous other minor roles with the help of elaborate makeup to disguise the fact). Promised in marriage to a beautiful woman raised from birth to please him, Akeem finds himself dissatisfied with the very idea of an arranged marriage. He wants to select a wife with a mind of her own who loves him for himself.
Hence Akeem's decision to leave the kingdom of Zamunda to travel to America. Unaware of his son's true purpose for the trip, King Jaffre Jafur decrees that Akeem simply needs to take a trip to "sow his royal oats." James Earl Jones as the King, and Madge Sinclair as the Queen are hilarious in their roles as Akeem's parents.
Akeem and Semi leave their luxurious lifestyle in the palace behind and end up in Queens, NY, posing as "average Americn students." They secure jobs at a knockoff of McDonald's, owned by Mr. McDowell (engagingly portrayed to hilarious effect by John Amos) and his daughters Lisa and Patrice. Falling hard for the eldest daughter Lisa (Shari Headley), Akeem competes with her boyfriend, Darrell(Eric LaSalle), the arrogant, smooth talking heir to the "Soul Glo" hair product fortune, for her affections. The numerous conflicts and silly situations that stem from this will keep you in stitches.
Blessed with an EXCELLENT cast who each make the utmost of their roles (those mentioned previously, plus Samuel L.Read more ›
The DVD itself, on the other hand, leaves much to be desired. As far as extras go the only ammenity offered is 1 lousy trailer. Also, the video transfer itself is far from pristine and the Dolby 5.1 audio track sounds like it could still be sweetend up. Sure, i suppose the fact that this DVD was authored back in 1999 may explain why the disc comes across as a bit primitive in terms of bells and whistles, but with that being said, it's high time for a proper re-release to do this comedy classic some audio-visual justice!