The African monarch Akeem learns he has a long-lost son in the United States and must return to America to meet this unexpected heir and build a relationship with his son.
I cannot speak for all groups, but I can say with absolute certainty that Coming to America (1988) is easily one of the most beloved films in the Black community hands down. So, with that said, a sequel would come with certain expectations of value. That wasn’t the case for myself going into this one. Of course, I want a great film, but I know the task of delivering such would be quite difficult. So, I went in with my expectations low, not wanting to be blown away with a film I’ll remember for decades, but slightly entertained, to say the least. Unfortunately, even with such low expectations, I still walked away from this film disappointed.
I’ll start by saying that this sequel, Coming 2 America, is not a movie in the least bit. It is an hour and forty-minute reunion of forced extended cameos, with no heart or soul to bring it to life. It’s not horrible, but it isn’t that great either. The question still remains as to why it was made, and I still can’t manage any worthwhile reason people came together with the mindset that it was.
Thirty-three years after the film’s first release, Akeem (Eddie Murphy) isn’t the same character as before. He’s the real-life Eddie Murphy that slightly changed his voice with energy like he would rather be somewhere else. He along with the rest of the cast were over the top ridiculous caricatures. Those same elements were in the first film covered in silliness, but the main story and characters still were developed and had a foundation of seriousness that just wasn’t present this time around. Akeem was truly a fish out of water trying to adjust, and those real-life moments hit home as a viewer. They felt like real people with genuine goals and a mission. They were even relatable to some degree. Silly was the first film’s middle name, but it was shrouded with fleshed-out pure emotions. Akeem actually felt warm, mature, and as if he actually cared about finding true love. I didn’t feel any of that with part 2.
There were a few moments where you may chuckle with laughter from time to time, but to say this film was hilarious would be a lie. I didn’t want much, but it didn’t feel the same. Part of that may come from the director Craig Brewer (Hustle & Flow) who in my opinion missed multiple marks by miles.
Overall I still had a small bit of fun, but this felt like a lazy attempt that wasn’t thought through thoroughly. We should’ve gotten so much more, and since we didn’t this sequel will be forgotten in a number of weeks. It’s sad to say with me being a huge fan of Eddie Murphy, but like all careers, every day at the office isn’t a home run.