The Stream: Almost too over the top and formulaic
The Big Screen: Family friendly and star-studded cast
The Final Bill: Brings back big nostalgia memories, good chuckles but too corny compared to the classic it follows– S2S: Movie Review
Director: Craig Brewer
Writers: Barry W. Blaustein (story by), David Sheffield (story by) | 5 more credits »
Stars: Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, Shari Headley | See full cast & crew »
Runtime: 1 hour 45 minutes
Platform: Prime Video March 5, 2021
Welcome back to Wakanda… *coughs*, I mean, Zamunda. After 30 years of no one waiting for this, we finally got our sequel to Coming to America with Coming 2 America. Oh, so clever there. Long awaited and overdue but also, maybe, too late as well. Either way, Coming 2 America follows our favorite heir of Zamunda, Prince Akeem, as he secures his family legacy after learning he has a long-lost son in the United States. He returns to Queens to meet this unexpected heir and bring him back to Zamunda to build a relationship with him. Of course, if everything were that easy, there wouldn’t be a movie but the rest we will leave up to you to detail the story. Let’s see what we got.
Let’s be honest, they pulled out all the stops with this movie. All of black acting and comedy royalty appear in this movie. The costumes and sets were all over the top and amazing. Rick Ross’ house and Tyler Perry Studios definitely have everything you need for a regal movie set. The biggest qualm I know people are going to have is that this doesn’t feel anything like the original. Yes, they take us down memory lane throughout the movie, but it hasn’t brought back the feeling from 1988. We all know societal norms and acceptances and culture have changed since then. Nevertheless, after 30 years, it’s impossible to recapture that comedic magic without being corny or overly campy. In fact, if I’m being honest, this movie is like 20 to 25 years too late. You can even hear how late it is in Eddie Murphy’s accent, or lack there of. I’m going to tell you all now, “Get over it!”
Where this movie succeeds is that the cast is full of life. The themes of the film are nice and cute for the family. Just like Eddie’s career as a whole, he’s moved on to making films his kids can watch and be proud of, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Coming 2 America has jokes that call back to the past, connections to comics and artists of the present but also ideals that people really shouldn’t be fighting so hard to hold on to. The movie comes full circle but part of the issue is that we’ve been around and around this circle so many times. They waited 30 years to give us essentially the same movie and then just added in a storyline that has been beat to death over the last 5-10 years. This is where I think the filmmakers really missed. You don’t call on an iconic film to make it ordinary but that’s what we got. The thought of this movie feels rushed but we also come against the fact that the movie feels too long.
Coming 2 America is a movie that any family with teens and young adults can sit down and enjoy. The movie is in no way in the same ballpark as the original, but that shouldn’t take away from the enjoyment you can get from it. I’d wish for more originality from this flick but I’ll settle for endless cameos, nostalgic laughs and the cheap price of the movie. The actual movie is just a handful of popcorn but for the culture grab yourself a bowl and enjoy the call to the past.