Title – Coming 2 America (2021)
Director – Craig Brewer (Dolemite is My Name)
Cast – Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, Jermaine Fowler, Leslie Jones, Tracy Morgan, Wesley Snipes
Plot – African Prince Akeem (Murphy) discovers he has an illegitimate child in the United States known as Lavelle (Fowler), a child that will become his only rightful heir to the throne when he passes but an heir that first must learn what it takes to be a ruler.
“Prepare the royal jet. We are going back to America!”
Review by Eddie on 12/03/2021
Arriving 33 years on from the release of the original well-liked Eddie Murphy fish out of water comedy event Coming to America, it’s strange trying to review this belated sequel that has come our way courtesy of a much-hyped Amazon Prime streaming release, as this film could’ve been a lot worse, but it also could’ve been a whole lot better.
As soon as fans heard about the return of Murphy as Prince Akeem and the barely sighted anymore Arsenio Hall as his trusty offsider Semmi (with both actors bringing back some of their side characters for the sequel) expectations were certainly muted as there haven’t been many success stories of reviving 80’s/90’s comedies for sequels over the last decade and we can be thankful that when weighed up against some other properties such as the Dumb and Dumber sequel or even some of Murphy’s other works like Norbit/The Adventures of Pluto Nash, Coming 2 America looks like The Godfather, but that’s about as far as one could go with praise for this adventure that never nails down a reason to exist.
Most glaringly being an issue for director Craig Brewer’s film (reuniting with his Dolemite is My Name star) is the fact that this story of Prince Akeem discovering he has an American born child that will become the heir to his country known as Lavelle (played rather forgettably by Jermaine Fowler) is the fact that its two main attractions Murphy and Hall are given very little too do outside of the films opening act, with it feeling as though we have been given the short end of the deal when it comes to seeing our two charismatic and chemistry strong performers play off one another.
Despite throwing in a number of new additions alongside Fowler like Leslie Jones loud-mouthed mother to Lavelle Mary, Tracy Morgan as Lavelle’s uncle Reem and bit parts from the likes of Wesley Snipes and KiKi Layne, the film suffers badly from a lack of Murphy/Hall screen-time and just isn’t that funny or interesting when it sets its sights on becoming a more seriously minded affair about staying true to ones self or not losing sight of cultural beliefs/traditions and its a shame the film focused more on weird song and dance numbers rather than giving the spotlight to its two proven commodities.
It’s never fun when films such as Coming 2 America do nothing but retread familiar ground and its nice to see that Brewer and Murphy didn’t just send Prince Akeem and Semmi back to America for another oddball trip but in this particular instance it would’ve been wise for the film to stick more with its elements that have worked before rather than try to add a whole bunch of new color and flavor (or cringe-worthy song and dance numbers) that leaves the viewer with nothing but sore eyes and a bad taste in their mouth.
Final Say –
There have been worse comedy sequels born in Hollywood over the run and Coming 2 America does have a few brief moments of good times but overall this is an as expected to be unneedful addition to the story of Prince Akeem and his compatriots.
2 Lion whiskers out of 5