Film Review: “Coming 2 America” (2021)

Rating: 2 out of 5.

There is no end to sequels. Going back to old beloved films, trying to come up with an idea to revive it. Make no mistake – there is nothing bad about it if one sticks to the original premise, respects its old audience and have something juicy for the new generation. However, what it proves once again is the big gap between two generations that literally either failed to express itself or the cinematic universe that’s still unable to get it.

“Coming 2 America” is a sequel to the iconic “Coming to America” (1988), which takes us to 2021 when the-now King Akeem (Eddie Murphy), in order to prevent his own assassination, planned by the ruthless General Izzi (Wesley Snipes), must recover the bastard son he apparently had in the United States, as his only heir to the throne. Armed with his best friend, Semmi (Arsenio Hall), the two embark on a journey that won’t be as fruitful as they expect. It will be filled with obstacles, new revelations and, more importantly, with pressing questions – can King Akeem be a good King if he does not understand fully his own power of changing the old and ancient rules?

Prince Akeem is happily married to his wife, Queen Lisa (Sheri Headley), with whom he raises three absolutely beautiful daughters. The oldest one is Meeka (KiKi Layne), who is, by far, the most interesting character in the film. In the meantime, we are taken to Queens, New York, to meet Lavelle Junson (Jermaine Fowler), a soon-to-be-prince who enjoys his simple life in the Big Apple. However, all changes for him when King Akeem arrives in America, briefly, to take his son along with his mother, Mary Junson (Leslie Jones), to Zamunda Royal Palace, and introduce to them a new life.

With the screenplay by Kenya Barris, Barry W. Blaustein and David Sheffield and directed by Craig Brewer and John Landis (a segment only), “Coming 2 America” has so many holes it will suck you in as if it was the Bermuda triangle. It’s almost like a lost neverland where you try to make sense of the things that literally make no sense. For instance, how come someone like King Akeem did not do a DNA test to prove that Lavelle is his son. At least provide a single line which would be more than enough. As for Mary Junson, Lavelle’s mother, she is the most annoying character of the century that’s literally written so badly, the film would’ve been better without her. It was so annoying that it took me two days to pass through her scenes.

By watching the sequel of the iconic film, it becomes clear the audience it targets has no taste whatsoever, with all due respect. The film is vulgar, includes unnecessary coarse language, almost as if the writers ran out of their English vocabulary. As for the plot, it could not get any worse. Thankfully, it must thank Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, Wesley Snipes and KiKi Layne, for making it up for the rest of the cast. But it was not enough to carry the whole film that had good intentions but no soul. With a dead concept, the audience would try to administer CPR on “Coming 2 America” to revive it by simply cheering for it, however, how can one do that when it was already dead on arrival?

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