Set in the lush and royal country of Zamunda, newly-crowned King Akeem (Eddie Murphy) and his trusted confidante Semmi (Arsenio Hall) embark on an all-new hilarious adventure that has them traversing the globe from their great African nation to the borough of Queens, New York – where it all began.
What We Thought:
I enjoyed Coming 2 America. It’s not quite the comedy classic the first film is, but it still has plenty of laughs, cameos and heart. As much as Coming to America is laugh out loud hilarious, it had a bit of tenderness as Eddie Murphy’s Prince Akeem wanted to find a woman to love and not be forced into an arranged marriage. This sequel, Coming 2 America, uses a similar story, but this time it involves now King Akeem’s unknown son.
Whereas the first film used its fish-out-of-water angle with Akeem and Semmi (Arsenio Hall) in America (Queens), this takes Akeem’s bastard son out of Queens and brings him and his mom to Zamunda. He’s out of place in the lavish palace with their traditions and customs. Akeem’s wife isn’t super happy that her husband has a son no one knew about and their three daughters are even less thrilled especially the oldest daughter who knows she can’t be the heir to the thrown, but still wants it.
Jermaine Fowler plays the son Lavelle and he handles the role quite well. He’s funny and shows a lot of range being in this new place with its ways. He wants to fit in, but also wants to be himself. Add in Leslie Jones as his mom and Tracy Morgan as his uncle and there are plenty of laughs with the family from Queens now in Africa.
Of course like the first film Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall play multiple roles. They stop by the barber shop again and there are flashbacks to events from the first film including a hilarious explanation of how Akeem’s son came to be. Also like the first film there are cameos you’ll cheer at and tons of great music. As much as it’s a sequel, it’s also an homage to the legacy of the first film.
My only regret with the movie is that I wish I saw it at the theater. I know things have changed, but a comedy like this would have been so much better with a crowd. A packed theater would have made watching the film quite the experience. Every cameo would have gotten explosions of laughter. Big jokes would have driven the audience mad. Unfortunately this is the world we live in currently.
Comedy sequels don’t always live up to expectations especially ones that are years apart (see Zoolander 2 and Anchorman 2). Coming 2 America is coming out 30 plus years after Coming to America, but that time difference is used as a plot point smartly. The main characters are now older and they bring in some fresh new blood to add to the comedy. It may not be the classic the first film is, but we could definitely use some laughter nowadays and it made me laugh more than not. For all the laughs and nostalgia, Coming 2 America is…