After 33 years since the first film, Akeem and Lisa (Shari Headley) have three children. All were women, which meant that, according to Zamunda tradition, none of them had the right to the throne. However, their eldest daughter, Meeka (KiKi Layne), never gave up and continued to prepare herself as a candidate for the ruler of Zamunda. Until before his death, King Jaffe Joffer (James Earl Jones) delivers shocking news: Akeem has a son in Queens! Top Movie Site
His name is Lavelle (Jermaine Fowler), son of Mary (Leslie Jones). In order to keep the surprises, I’m not going to tell you how Akeem, who used to focus solely on Lisa, got in touch with Mary. But that moment gave the visual effects department a chance to show off, creating flashbacks with the powerful CGI that made Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall look three decades younger. A moment that also shows, like other long-term sequels / remakes, Coming 2 America is also full of nostalgia.
Nostalgia is either the appearance of old figures such as the “trio of haircuts” (still played by Murphy and Hall in extraordinary make-up) who are still good at churning their stomachs through their unfiltered jokes, familiar types of humor that haven’t lost their killing power either, or moments are referencial. A little adjustment here and there, let’s say McDowell’s restaurant which has now moved to Zamunda, and has a black version of Ronald McDonald as the mascot.
The manuscripts of his first two film writers, Barry W. Blaustein and David Sheffield, this time with a boost from Kenya Barris (Barbershop: The Next Cut, The Witches), ensure that his comedy continues to satisfy old fans. But what about other elements? This is where Coming 2 America‘s biggest problem lies. Movie Review
Rather than a sequel, Coming 2 America is more like a remake in disguise, where elements of nostalgia often fall into mere repetition. Lavelle was not only prepared as a prince, he was also a potential husband for the daughter of General Izzi (Wesley Snipes), the ruler of Nextdoria as a rival of Zamunda, as well as Imani’s sister (Vanessa Bell Calloway). Yes, Akeem’s ex-future wife whom he “cursed” so that he kept jumping on one leg while barking. Next, follow the flow points, which reflect Akeem’s past journey.
I am not in the anti-“repetition-under the guise-tribute” group. I am delighted to find The Force Awakens a carbon copy of A New Hope. Nostalgia is fun. In fact, this repetition can actually be used to reinforce the main idea of his story, namely that of Akeem, who, as he gets older, becomes more and more like the thing he used to hate: his father’s orthodoxy.
The first film successfully turned Akeem’s resistance to conservatives into a very sweet romantic comedy. There is a heart. There is a taste. This achievement failed to be repeated, as a result the writers seemed confused to focus. Is it about Akeem seeking back the “fire” in him? Is it about Lavelle pursuing freedom? Is it about the Zamunda women? The results overlap. Not only repetitions, Coming 2 America is a repetition that is presented while pressing the fast forward button, while the makers tick the checklist, each plot passing point by point the first film you want to repeat.
This should have been the vehicle for Eddie Murphy to revive his career, but even though he was able to provide warmth in a handful of dramatic moments, Akeem seemed to have been marginalized from his own franchise. Likewise the women. KiKi Layne’s toughness, Headley’s success (still as beautiful as 33 years ago) made Lisa a wise figure similar to the late Madge Sinclair as Queen Aoleon before, as well as the “wild” Leslie Jones, so in vain. Meanwhile, the love of Lavelle and Mirembe (Nomzamo Mbatha), the royal groomer, is far from the romanticism of Akeem-Lisa, due to hasty presentations and a lack of focus on their relationship. What else can we do? The story is too full. Best Movie
At least, if it’s limited to looking for entertainment or longing medicine, director Craig Brewer (Hustle & Flow, Dolemite Is My Name) is able to produce a sequel, which in the context of entertainment, still has the same energy and soul as its predecessor.