I watched “Coming 2 America” this week which stars Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, Wesley Snipes, Leslie Jones, and a laundry list of stars from the ’80s and ’90s.
To prepare me, I decided to watch the original “Coming to America” first to refresh my childhood memories of the film. The original “Coming to America” was a fun movie, but I was also 12 years old when it came out. What did I know about good movies and comedy then…hell, what do I know about it now? Back then Eddie Murphy had viewers eating out of the palm of his hand, but would Mr. Murphy be able to pull it off again in 2021 when the seats at the movie theater were empty? Does a sequel this big work if you don’t view it in the movie theater?
I think it does.
The film starts off in Zamunda at the palace where we last saw the newlywed couple, Akeem and Lisa Joffer. It has been 30 years since their wedding, and they couldn’t be happier with three children, all girls (the middle daughter “Omma” played by Eddie Murphy’s real-life daughter, Bella). Wesley Snipes plays General Izzi who is looking to have his son married to Akeem and Lisa’s eldest daughter, Meeka. So once again, this film follows the theme of the first film in regards to arranged marriages between young adults who have no interest in each other.
The King of Zamunda, still played by James Earl Jones, is getting old and will soon be passing away. This means an heir will be taking the throne soon, and females aren’t allowed, by regulation, to take the role of heir to Zamunda. Enter one of Arsenio Hall’s alter characters “Baba”, a fortune-teller who explains to Akeem that he has a long-lost son in America. King Jaffe tells Akeem to go back to America to retrieve his son and prepare him for the role of Prince of Zamunda.
Akeem and Semmi (again played by Arsenio Hall) hop on a private jet and head back to Queens in search of Akeem’s son.
Once you get past the setup of how it’s even possible that Akeem would have had a bastard son from that original movie, it becomes a little easier to suspend disbelief and enjoy the cornucopia of cameos from the first film packed in with some 90’s celebrity appearances as well.
It was also pretty easy by that point to guess where the story was going, which didn’t make it a bad movie, but just a little predictable.
Pretty much everything you are expecting to see in this sequel, you will see. From the original Rose Petal Bearers to Cleo McDowell himself, this movie seemed to cover all the bases. They even have a flashback to a few of the scenes from the first movie and make minor adjustments with today’s de-aging technology.
I’m giving “Coming 2 America” 7.5 out of 10 stars.
It was fun, nostalgic, and definitely worth watching at least once.