Coming To America is considered an all time classic! It is a film that is on everyone’s favorite comedy lists! It launched careers, it furthered careers, and stands the test of time. Eddie Murphy is one of my all-time favorite comedians, and the announcement of Coming 2 America made me excited. I was ready to see Eddie back in the spotlight. While I was a huge fan of Coming To America, I never considered in my top favorite comedies. Now I did look at it as a great Rom Com, and would probably be in my top 10.
With the Rom Com basically gone the way of the western, I was excited for the possibility of what Coming 2 America would be. I expected a lot of nostalgia, which is the way a lot of these sequels way down the line have been. Nostalgia can really add to a film, though sometimes it feels like you can be beaten over the head with it. It is a fine line, and I looked for Coming 2 America to be on the right side. I also looked forward to a lot of cameos. In a film like this it is expected. And of course, one liners.
Suffice to say, I found Coming 2 America to be the perfect blend of nostalgia, comedy, cameos, and fun. The sequel once again stars Eddie Murphy back in the role, of the now King of Zamunda, Akeem Joffer, along with Arsenio Hall as Semmi. Back from the original film we also see James Earl Jones, Louie Anderson, John Amos, and Shari Headley. Joining the crew is an all star cast of Jermaine Fowler, Leslie Jones, Tracy Morgan, Kiki Layne, Shari Headley, Teyana Taylor, and Wesley Snipes. The film is directed Craig Brewer and boast a huge number of cameos and stars.
In Coming 2 America, 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 Zamunda back to the borough of Queens, to find his illegitimate son, and bring him back to Zamunda to prepare him for the throne.
The story is fun, there is nothing new here, but that does not take away from the fun, and the cast is incredible. It is great to see the returning stars mix in with new cast. A cast that honestly could have carried this film on their own if given the opportunity. Which leads me to hope for another look at Zamunda, with the younger generation. Not to say I would not also love more adventures from Akeem and Semmi, but the new generation is a powerful cast.
Eddie is back on his game like he never left the spotlight. He is fun and hilarious and brings all his classic Coming To America characters back to life. Eddie has always been larger to life and has been able to bring multiple characters to fruition on the big screen in a way that seems real, and impactful. They all bring you back to the moment that we first see them. He does a great job falling back into the character of Akeem. Along with him, the chemistry has never been better between Arsenio and Eddie. Hall brings Semmi back, along with his classic characters to rival Eddie’s performance.
James Earl Jones is always a star and seeing John Amos as Cleo again is super fun. He brings a lot of heart to the film with only minor screen time. Headley looks as if she has not aged a day since the original film, and he power lights up the screen like she did in the first.
Wesley Snipes steps in as the main antagonist in this film, and he is on point! Wesley is a great leading man, and an ideal action star! However when he is given the chance to break out and use his comedic chops and having fun, he really shines! And this is no exception! Wesley is killing it in the role, having more fun than Eddie himself!
Jermaine Fowler comes on as Akeem’s illegitimate son Lavelle and brings a lot of heart to the story. While I would have liked to see them focus more on Kiki Layne’s character, Jermaine does a fantastic job as the fish out of water character. Jermaine is a sympathetic and powerful character, and fun to see learn the ways of Zamunda. He blends with Eddie perfectly and the two fit as a father and son duo.
Like I said I would have loved to see more of Kiki Layne. She is a superstar in this film. However the story looks for Fowler’s Lavelle as the main storyline. Leaving Layne’s Princess Meeka Joffer as almost a side character. I would have loved to see the story focus on her and her wanting to be the successor of the King, rather then the son of the King.
That leads me into my few negatives of the film. A lot of people had a few issues with he film, it being over nostalgic. While I did not mind all the nostalgia like I said it is a fine line. There were a few moments where they did jump to the negative side of that line. Not a lot. But some moments really were not needed or were overdone. A moment where we see Akeem back in his “Real New Yorker” jacket and hat, thinking he is back in disguise. A few more like that, with set ups for the nostalgia to his as just a gag. Plus there were some characters missing. Most notably Samuel L. Jackson. Sam does any and every film or TV show, or commercial that comes his way. Where the hell was, he in this film?!
All in all the film is a lot of fun, with great throwback gags the hit those nostalgic beats. The cast is phenomenal mix of old and new, with a great chemistry. It is fun, makes you laugh, and plays tribute to the original. I am giving Coming 2 America a Grind score of 2.9 with a .3 Positivity Bonus for Eddie doing what Eddie does back on screen! That gives us a Grind Positivity Score of 3.2! What do you think? Where do you rank the original Coming To America? Are you excited for the sequel? Have you already seen it? Answer the Call in the comments below with your thoughts!