Coming 2 America is nowhere near as good as its iconic predecessor, but it isn’t a bad film either.
While the jokes hit as often as they miss and the plot is extremely predictable, seeing Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall as these characters again etched a smile on my face and allowed a brief respite from the world’s stresses.
Coming 2 America isn’t fit to rule the comic kingdom, but it has enough fun performances and passable gags to make a decent jester.
Coming 2 America: There And Back Again
For the past 30 years, Prince Akeem (Eddie Murphy) has been preparing to take the throne of Zamunda from his father (James Earl Jones). When Dad dies, Akeem realizes he has a son in Queens named Lavelle (Jermaine Fowler). Despite having a more-than capable daughter Meeka (Kiki Layne, If Beale Street Could Talk), the law dictates a male heir sit atop the throne, so Akeem and his ward Semmi (Arsenio Hall) fetch Lavelle to teach him the royal ways. Elsewhere, the war-hungry General Izzi (Wesley Snipes) is ready to invade should Lavelle fail.
Coming 2 America is not as funny or inventive as the original, but in this age where most comedy sequels faceplant from the word go, this one provides some decent laughs. Murphy, Hall, and Snipes are the highlights, and while I doubt Fowler will be an overnight sensation, he holds his own well enough. Leslie Jones and Tracy Morgan also appear as, well, Leslie Jones and Tracy Morgan, to mixed results. Both have funny moments, but I found Jones increasingly grating and Morgan curiously underused. The costumes and some of the sets are beautiful and the musical numbers extravagant, but the increased focus on narrative prevents the film from reaching its full comedic potential.
Will Coming 2 America be remembered as fondly as its predecessor? I severely doubt it, but it’s not the dumpster fire it so easily could have been. While it never comes together as well as it wants to, the energy of the cast, strong costuming, and just enough good jokes make it an enjoyably nostalgic diversion.
By royal decree, I say stream Coming 2 America when it becomes available on Amazon March 5th.
2.5 out of 5 stars (Decent)
Coming 2 America rated PG-13 for Crude and Sexual Content, Language, and Drug Content