Coming 2 America
By James Davidson
“Coming 2 America” is the sequel to the 1988 comedy “Coming to America” starring Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall. It was released on March 5th, 2021 on the Amazon Video streaming service. It is available to stream for free for Amazon Prime members.
After inheriting the throne from his father, Akeem (Murphy) and his loyal servant, Semmi (Hall) return to America to find Akeem’s long lost son and only male heir. Apparently, unknown to everyone including Akeem, Akeem has sired an illegitimate son before he met his wife Lisa (Shari Headley) while in America the first time. After locating his son, Lavelle Junson (Jermaine Fowler) Akeem brings Lavelle and his family back to Zamunda to teach him how to become more princely and to claim his rightful place as Prince of the African country.
While I was never a huge fan of the first “Coming to America”, I just never grew up with it, I did enjoy it once I watched it. I know that the original is a classic and once I heard that this sequel was coming out, I was worried. I was concerned that the sequel wouldn’t live up to the hype and I thought that it just wasn’t needed. Unfortunately, my concerns were confirmed after I saw this film. While it is good for a few laughs, and pays homage to the original fairly well, it just didn’t live up to the hype for me.
The humor was similar to the original movie, but was watered down a bit in my opinion. While the original was rated R and had some raunchy humor, the sequel is rated PG-13 and is toned down quite a bit. Most of the humor seems to be complaining that they can’t make the same types of jokes that they could in the original in an effort to be more politically correct. While there were some funny moments, especially the return of the barber shop gang, played by Murphy and Hall in heavy makeup, most of the humor fell flat for me and felt a bit forced.
The entire plot felt forced and the entire movie felt more like a giant cash grab as opposed to a legitimate attempt at a sequel. While fans of the original will appreciate some of the call backs, some of them quite amusing, most of the movie felt unnecessary. Starting with the fact that apparently, unknown to everyone including Akeem, Akeem met a woman before his wife and fathered a child. I thought that this, the main component of the story, was a bit of a stretch.
This movie is definitely for fans of the original movie. If you haven’t seen the first film, I suggest you watch it. You will be very lost trying to watch this film without knowledge of what happened in the first story and you will not understand most of the jokes. Since this sequel is rated PG-13 as opposed to R, it is not as raunchy as the original, and doesn’t have nearly as much language. However, it still has some mature humor that makes it inappropriate for younger children.
“Coming 2 America” is a shameless cash grab that does provide a few chuckles and fans of the original will appreciate the fan service, but as a stand alone comedy, it falls flat. If you enjoyed the original and already have Amazon Prime, it is worth a watch, if nothing else for some of the call back jokes. However, I wouldn’t go out of my way to see it again. It earns 2.5 out of 5 stars.