Review: Coming 2 America

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Adapting the 1988 comedic stylings of the original film and infusing it with even more heart, Eddie Murphy and company deliver a worthwhile follow-up for the modern era.

When he learns that he has a son in New York City, King Akeem (Murphy) and trusted confidante Semmi (Arsenio Hall) return to America to track him down and turn him into the prince Zamunda needs. Making a sequel to a beloved comedy classic rarely works out, let alone 30+ years down the road. In the case of Coming 2 America, patience has resulted in a formidable story that allows the original cast to shine alongside new additions such as Tracy Morgan, Leslie Jones, Wesley Snipes, and Jermaine Fowler. The latter in particular carries a significant portion of the weight in the film as he explores the father/son dynamic with Murphy and molds the messages of the first film for a new generation. In fact, all of the new cast members were fresh injections of comedy that otherwise would have left the sequel flat, especially the ever-hilarious Jones as Fowler’s mother and former fling of Murphy’s, perhaps her best non-SNL role to date.

Whereas the comedy is not quite as abrasive as the first, Coming 2 America successfully avoids simple repetition and opts for a more universal approach, allowing the story itself to take center stage. This is a sequel that maintains its connections to the first film while wrapping up the lessons taught in a tight, digestible package. It also showcases the power of the women in King Akeem’s life while revisiting the moral struggles he experienced as a prince.

In short, Coming 2 America is a hilarious, star-studded follow-up to the first film that never frays from the DNA that endeared us to the characters in the beginning. This is the type of film we need today.

Coming 2 America hits Amazon Prime Video this Friday.

Rating: 5/5

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