Trading Places -- Luke McKinney
Trading Places satisfies one of the conditions for the best Eddie Murphy comedies: playing a character who's a fish out of water.
But while his other roles had hidden assets like "secret African fortune" or "the ability to use a gun near white police officers without getting shot," here Murphy pure fast-talks his way into millions of dollars. That's not just his character; that's his real career, too. In one scene, he masters the complexities of futures trading by doing stand-up at it.
We understood "Sell, sell, sell!"
His perfect foil is Dan Aykroyd, also playing his quintessential role: socially maladjusted white guy who's partly insane. My favorite scene is Aykroyd, newly restored to wealth, calmly polishing a brace of shotguns to blow the kneecaps off the evil Duke brothers, while Murphy matter-of-factly explains why you can't do that. The spoiled rich kid and street-smart conman capture their entire characters in one line each. This isn't just a movie; it's a time capsule of two brilliant comedians.
Take special note of the pre-Dragnet Aykroyd.
Two more reasons this is my favorite Murphy movie: 1) Jamie Lee Curtis' breasts (which isn't very intelligent, but I wasn't very intelligent when I first saw them) and 2) the movie's Fight Club-level audience mindjob, drawing you into the con of the plot. We all love Eddie so much that we think he's a good guy. He commits absolutely massive securities fraud. Sure, he does it by stealing the crop report already stolen by the evil Duke brothers, but we don't think "They started it!" is a legal defense for market manipulation. They devastate an entire area of investment, bankrupting countless anonymous stockholders, and sentence a man to lifetime rape-by-gorilla, and you still love them. Because Eddie Murphy is just that good at talking.