COMING 2 AMERICA (2021) – My rating: 8/10

Coming 2 America is a comedy that serves as a sequel to the original 1988 film. The movie is directed by Craig Brewer and created from a screenplay by Kenya Barris, Barry W. Blaustein, and David Sheffield. The story, by Blaustein, Sheffield, and Justin Kanew, is based on characters created by Eddie Murphy. It is the second installment in the Coming to America film series. I thought Coming 2 America was going to be funny, I was right, it was hilarious.

On the 30th anniversary of his wedding with Lisa McDowell (Shari Headley), Prince Akeem (Eddie Murphy) of Zamunda is summoned before his dying father, King Jaffe Joffer (James L. Jones). King Jaffe and his shaman Baba (Arsenio Hall) reveal to a dumfounded Akeem that he begot a son during his first visit to Queens, New York after Semmi (Arsenio Hall) had enticed two women into spending the night with them while Akeem was still searching for his future queen. One of the women, Mary Junson (Leslie Jones) drugged Prince Akeem, resulting in an intimate encounter he did not remember. Since Zamundian tradition demands that only a male successor can inherit the throne, and Lisa has borne only daughters, Akeem is forced to travel back to Queens to retrieve his son. The alternative would be to face a violent takeover by Zamunda’s militaristic neighbor nation, Nextdoria. Dictator General Izzi (Wesley Snipes), who rules Nextdoria, has repeatedly tried to push Akeem into marrying off his eldest daughter Meeka (Kiki Layne) to his fastidious son, Idi Izzi (Rotimi). After King Jaffe’s funeral and Akeem’s ascension as king, Jaffe and Semmi travel to Queens to meet and bring home his illegitimate son, Lavelle Junson (Jermaine Fowler).

Coming 2 America is a continuation of the first Coming to America and is equally as funny.  I especially liked how Eddie Murphy employed so many Black actors whom we haven’t seen for some time.  James L. Jones who is 90 years old revised his old character of King Jaffe Joffer and acted one of the funniest scenes in the movie.  He turned out a magnificent portrayal of his character.  Also revising his old character of Cleo McDowell is John Amos, Akeem’s former employer, and father-in-law as well as Lisa’s father.  As an established actor, he performed brilliantly.  Tracy Morgan as Reem Junson, Lavelle’s uncle, and Mary’s brother was perfect. I couldn’t think of a better actor to play that part.  Vanessa Bell Calloway, as Imani Izzi, General Izzi’s younger sister and Akeem’s former intended bride who didn’t think for herself and was last seen hopping on one foot. Maurice (Louie Anderson) plays a mid-level employee at McDowell’s restaurant and is not Black.  The crème de la crème was Wesley Snipes, who played General Izzi and didn’t look a day older than his days of Blade.  He was funny, forceful, and convincing.  Entertainers such as Gladys Knight, En Vogue,  Salt-N-Pepa, Morgan Freeman, Davido, and Dikembe Mutombo all played themselves.  Trevor Noah played Zamunda a News Network anchor.  Arsenio Hall played several characters aside from Akeem’s best friend and aide SemmiReverend Brown, Morris, Mr. Clarence’s right-hand barber, and Baba the witch doctor, showing off his many talents. I particularly liked the barbershop scenes that were the funniest, in my opinion.  The dancing, music, and costumes were fabulous.  There is a lot to Coming 2 America’s plot, albeit a little silly and archaic I still think you’ll enjoy the movie.  On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 51% based on 139 reviews with an average rating of 5.5/10. The website’s critic’s consensus reads, “Decades after its predecessor joked about the fine line between love and nausea, Coming 2 America reminds audiences that there’s an equally fine line between sequel and retread.” Murphy said there could be a Coming to America 3 when he turns 75, which will be in 16 years  —  Check It Out!

 

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