Home Coming 2 America

Coming 2 America (12A)

Cast: Arsenio Hall, Jermaine Fowler, Tracy Morgan, Leslie Jones, Eddie Murphy, KiKi Layne
Genre: Comedy
Author(s): David Sheffield, Kenya Barris, Barry W Blaustein
Director: Craig Brewer
Release Date: 05/03/2021
Running Time: 110mins
Country: US
Year: 2021

As King Jaffe Joffer, ruler of the prosperous nation of Zamunda, takes his final breath, pampered crown prince Akeem faces a constitutional crisis. His country's antiquated laws forbid women from ascending the throne so Akeem's eldest daughter Meeka and her two sisters, Omma and Tinashe, must marry and dutifully serve a husband if they wish to rule. An elderly shaman unexpectedly discloses that Akeem has an heir - an illegitimate son - back in New York.


 

LondonNet Film Review
Coming 2 America (12A)

Around an hour into Craig Brewer’s lacklustre sequel to the 1988 culture clash comedy Coming To America, scriptwriters Kenya Barris, Barry W Blaustein and David Sheffield hammer nails into their own coffins by engineering a playful on-screen conversation about the artistic merits of Hollywood. With a laboured, self-referential wink, two characters concur that American cinema is dominated by superhero adventures, remakes and “sequels to old movies nobody asked for”. Coming 2 America knows its own deficiencies and does little to remedy them, bullishly relearning the lesson of the original film that true love triumphs over obligation and fusty tradition…

Second-hand sermons about gender inequality and acceptance are casually thrown into the hotchpotch of crudity and character comedy (again, Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall embrace multiple latex-laden alter egos). Obvious nods to Black Panther and Star Wars compete with sporadic flashbacks to the original film, which are steeped in nostalgia but also serve to underline the absence of creative risks or innovation in Brewer’s picture. Murphy and Hall comfortably ease back into multiple roles, appropriating the lion’s share of hit-or-miss punchlines while co-stars Leslie Jones, Tracy Morgan and Wesley Snipes tussle noisily over the scraps.

As King Jaffe Joffer (James Earl Jones), ruler of the prosperous nation of Zamunda, takes his final breath, pampered crown prince Akeem (Murphy) faces a constitutional crisis. His country’s antiquated laws forbid women from ascending the throne so Akeem’s eldest daughter Meeka (KiKi Layne) and her two sisters, Omma (Bella Murphy) and Tinashe (Akiley Love), must marry and dutifully serve a husband if they wish to rule. An elderly shaman unexpectedly discloses that Akeem has an heir – an illegitimate son – back in New York. Determined to protect the royal bloodline, Akeem bids farewell to his wife Lisa (Shari Headley) and travels to America with manservant Semmi (Hall) to track down the product of a drug-fuelled one-night stand more than 30 years ago.

His offspring, ticket tout Lavelle (Jermaine Fowler), is thrilled to discover that he will inherit the crown and heads excitedly to Zamunda with his mother Mary (Jones) and uncle Reem (Morgan) to face three princely tests. Political manoeuvring complicates the coronation when General Izzi (Snipes), dictatorial ruler of neighbouring Nexdoria, proposes an arranged marriage between Lavelle and his daughter Bopoto (Teyana Taylor). “It’s better to be bound by blood in marriage than bound by blood in war,” Izzi warns Akeem.

Coming 2 America is a laboured reminder of halcyon days when almost everything Murphy touched turned to comedy gold. The sequel’s linear and predictable plot teaches old dogs new tricks, interspersed with cameos including a bewildering living funeral sequence that welcomes Morgan Freeman, Gladys Knight, Salt-N-Pepa and En Vogue. Out-takes during the end credits capture spontaneous outbursts and hilarity behind the scenes. Everyone is invited to the party, it seems, except us.

– Jo Planter


London Cinemas Showing Coming 2 America


From: Friday 7th May
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UK and Irish Cinemas Showing Coming 2 America


From: Friday 7th May
To: Thursday 13th May

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From: Friday 14th May
To: Thursday 20th May

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