Coming 2 America may not be necessary, however it is a hilarious movie with lots of callbacks to the original, and a whole lot of fun.
Coming 2 America feels very much like and extension of the original movie, Coming To America. It has the same kind of humor, the same characters, and lots and lots of fan service and callbacks. Sure, there are some jokes that don’t work, and the overall plot and story has a few issues, but those that love the first movie, will love this one as well.
In Coming 2 America, Akeem discovers that he has an illegitimate son in America. He and Lisa have three girls, but the laws of Zamunda will not allow them to sit on the throne. Because of this he and Semmi travel back to Queens to bring his son back and train him to be a Prince.
What Works In Coming 2 America
If you are a fan of the humor in the first movie like I am, then you will be very happy with the humor in the sequel. It has very similar vibes, with Eddie Murphy playing the straight man as Akeem again, and Arseno Hall playing the funny guy as Semmi. With the added character of his son, there are a lot more moments away from Akeem, however the same overall vibe of the first one is there.
There are so many fantastic callbacks to the original in this movie that alone make it worth putting on. Having seen the first one so close to this one, there were multiple moments that had me cracking up. Many characters come back, which I was really excited about, and they were done well. They might have been thrown in there just as a silly reference to the first movie but they worked, they really worked.
Also keep an eye out for lots of new people popping in with some unexpectedly amazing cameos. There are more dance numbers than the first one, and they were some of my favorite scenes. I will not give spoilers but there is one moment that had me dancing in my seat with a big smile on my face. Leslie Jones is a great addition to the cast. I have always adored her and she really brought it in Coming 2 America. Her character is one of my favorites of the film.
What Doesn’t Work In Coming 2 America
The way that Lavelle Johnson, Akeem’s son, comes into this story didn’t leave me feeling warm and fuzzy. From the moment I knew he was going to have a son, it just seemed off to me. He loved Lisa, and was not with anyone before her, it seemed. The way they explain this, and I will not say to avoid spoilers, kind of left me feeling icky.
There are a couple of other cringe moments, especially in the Barber Shop, where I thought oh, they went there, huh? Uncomfortable might be too strong of a word, but those moments threw me off for a minute or two. Almost like it went a bit too far, although I do understand that is the nature of this film, and the one before it.
The story overall is not bad. It is slightly predictable and mirrors a lot from the first movie. Not necessarily a bad thing, but something that should be mentioned. We aren’t breaking new ground here, but I am not sure we needed to in the first place.
Do We Need This Sequel?
There is absolutely no world in which we needed a Coming To America sequel – they even joke about that in Coming 2 America. However, that doesn’t mean that this one is not worth watching, because it absolutely is. If you are a fan of the first one, there are numerous callbacks that should have you laughing until your sides hurt.
I had someone ask me if they needed to watch the first one in order to watch this one, and while the answer is no, I highly recommend that you do. Coming 2 America does a great job of catching viewers up if they missed the original, or if it has been a while since they watched it. They include clips from Coming To America throughout, so that a lot of the jokes will land even if you haven’t seen it. That being said, you will appreciate this one so much more if you have watched the first one.
Coming 2 America is not necessary, but still a whole lot of fun. If you enjoyed the first one, you are sure to enjoy the second as this movie provides a lot of fan service. It is very similar in style, and of course, a lot of favorite characters are back. The number of callbacks to the original is uncountable so if the first one made you laugh, this one will too.
The story itself is simple enough, and some of the scenes go a bit too far, however it is still a good time. It isn’t life changing, and it probably will not win any awards, but I watched the majority of it with a smile on my face. They say laughter is the best medicine, and I needed a good laugh after this last year – Coming 2 America gave it to me.
About Coming 2 America
Set in the lush and royal country of Zamunda, newly-crowned King Akeem (Eddie Murphy) and his trusted confidante Semmi(Arsenio Hall) embark on an all-new hilarious adventure that has them traversing the globe from their great African nation to the borough of Queens, New York – where it all began.
Starring: Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, Jermaine Fowler, Leslie Jones, Tracy Morgan, KiKi Layne, Shari Headley, with Wesley Snipes and James Earl Jones. Also starring John Amos, Teyana Taylor, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Paul Bates, Nomzamo Mbatha, Bella Murphy Screenplay by: Kenya Barris and Barry W. Blaustein & David Sheffield
Story by: Barry W. Blaustein & David Sheffield and Justin Kanew
Directed by: Craig Brewer Based on characters created by: Eddie Murphy
Produced by: Kevin Misher and Eddie Murphy Costumes by: Ruth E. Carter.