"One of my many joys in life is sitting down to watch an Eddie Murphy film from the 80s, back when he was at his peak, and a true comedic master. This movie, a spin on The Prince and the Pauper, is a great example of prime Eddie.
Directed by John Landis, this is the story of two ultra wealthy and bored brothers who, after bickering over the nature versus nurture debate decide to put it to the test with a bet that, if they can get a well to do white yuppie to switch places with a petty African American con man, that the black guy will thrive in high society, while the white guy will easily crack trying to make it as a poor man, and won't hesitate to turn to crime to survive.
I won't give anything away, but I'll just say that the results are pretty funny. It's a decently sharp satirical romp that, despite a script that isn't that strong, still excels due to some fine direction, and some fantastic performances. Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd shine as the two guinea pigs, while Denholm Elliott is a true marvel as the butler who begrudgingly goes along with the scheme, originally serving Aykroyd's Louis, but becoming Murphy's Billy Ray's loyal servant simply because he is employed by those rich Duke Brothers (Ralph Bellamy and Don Ameche) who don't care who gets hurt as a result of their idle betting.
Jamie Lee Curtis makes a memorable appearance as the typical hooker with a heart of gold who tries to help Louis out, while a number of fun appearances are made by Paul Gleason, James Belushi, Frank Oz, Bo Diddley, and Al Franken among others.
All in all, this is a pretty good film. It's not quite a masterpiece, but it rises above the tried and true premise and makes for some really entertaining viewing. It's just a shame that basically everyone involved here hasn't really risen to the heights they hit here in a long time.
This review is the subjective opinion of an Investimonials member and not of Investimonials LLC
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