Story

The sequel to the 1988 film Coming To America starring Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall Coming 2 America follows Prince Akeem thirty years after the first film’s events. The Prince learns that he has a long-lost Son in Queens. Akeem already has three daughters with his wife Lisa, but it’s tradition for only a male successor to inherit the throne of Zamunda. Akeem must go with his friend and aid Semmi to Queens and build a relationship with his son. Akeem must groom him into Zamunda royalty or else face a hostile takeover from Nextoria, Zamunda’s militaristic neighbor nation, and its dictator General Izzi.

Full thoughts and Review of Coming 2 America

For me, a sequel to a film should never take a long time to come out, and also not too soon. I feel a time of at least three years minimum and maybe not longer than five years to keep fans of a movie and audience interested. There is a thirty-three-year difference between Coming to America and Coming 2 AmericaComing to America is a comedy classic and a movie I find funny and told a good story. I don’t see sense in making a follow-up or sequel, but we have this movie.

For a film that takes place thirty years after the first movie’s events, the plot and comedy feel rushed and lazy at the same time. Prince Akeem of Zamunda is living with his wife Lisa and their three daughters. Summoned by his dying father, King Jaffe Joffer, and shaman Baba, they reveal that he had a son while Prince Akeem and Semmi were finding a woman in Queens for Prince Akeem. Since he needs a son to take over after Akeem, Zamunda rule forbids Akeem’s daughter’s to take the crown and rule the land. I can find this believable, but why did they hold this information out after thirty years. Should this be something in a plot after ten years or his last daughter’s birth? It doesn’t seem right for Baba and King Jaffe to withhold this information from Akeem for thirty or so years.

So Akeem going back to Queens, NY, with Semmi to find his son and bring him back to Zamunda to take his place on the throne. It’s simple enough for the plot, but this doesn’t offer the original movie old fans a reason to watch the sequel or bring in any new fans unfamiliar with the past story and characters. Some past characters return from the original movie. Characters like John Amos as Cleo McDowell, Lisa’s dad, and Akeem’s former employer live with them in Zamunda with his restaurant and James Earl Jones as Akeem’s dying father, King Jaffe. But his role, like others, is so short, you’ll forget that they were in the movie until they reappear again for another brief moment.

I’ve seen people bring up this problem, and I’m with everyone on this, for a film Called Coming 2 America, Akeem and Sammi only spend fifteen minutes or so in America. Does it question why it’s called Coming 2 America if the film most of the time takes place in Zamunda? If it was to take advantage of the 2 in the title, it’s a weak idea. Why not name the movie something like Coming to America 2: The Zamunda Homecoming or something else. But we are stuck with this as the title.

Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall are alright as Prince (Soon to be King) Akeem and Sammi, respectively, the two characters they played in the original movie. There’s nothing new, and a lot of the joke and funny material relies on caricatures and punchlines from the first film Coming to America. Some callbacks did make me laugh a bit, but not enough to like this movie. It’s a shame because I felt that the film had talented actors and comedians but didn’t have a story that had my attention. I did like Wesley Snipes as he appeared to have fun with the role of General Izzi. It did come off as Wesley not taking the part seriously and having fun.

The rest of the cast on Coming 2 America made it seem the film could be great, but they couldn’t save the movie. Jermaine Fowler plays Lavelle Junson, Prince Akeem’s illegitimate son groomed to take over, but has a character arc that does the same story of the same groomed to royalty but questioning his forced choices. Kiki Palmer plays Princess Omma Joffer, another character with some potential to turn the film around, but like Lavelle, is given a Princess, who wants to be queen story, but can’t because she is a woman. These kinds of stories work better in kid’s movies, as dumbed down as it felt. There are also Comedians Leslie Jones and Tracy Morgan that play Lavelle’s mother and Uncle, respectively. They didn’t have much to work within the story, except for a possibly cringingly backstory about Lavelle’s conception.  

I don’t have much else to say with Coming 2 AmericaComing 2 America is a film that you can watch as a curiosity, but that’s it. The nostalgia isn’t enough to win over new fans, and the appeal won’t bring in any new fans. The film had a terrific cast of actors and even directed by Craig Brewer, whose past directing credits include Hustle and Flow and  Dolemite is My Name which he also worked with Eddie Murphy. This movie might be better off passing unless you loved Coming to America, but that’s a hard sell to watch Coming 2 America.

Summarized thoughts and review of Coming 2 America

Besides being a sequel that no one asked for, this is a comedy that I didn’t find funny either. I did get a couple of laughs, but this was at the cost of a few cheap pops and familiar faces from the first movie. Only spending around fifteen minutes in America, Coming 2 America is a mistitled film. It’s a predictable and cliched story and feels forgettable even after you watch it. I will like and rather see Coming to America again, but you are better off passing on this movie. It doesn’t add anything to an already classic comedy.

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