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Review: Coming 2 America

Eddie Murphy stars in Amazon's COMING 2 AMERICA

Coming to America is my favorite comedy of all-time. However, I wasn’t someone who was overly excited when I heard about a sequel being released over 30 years later. The reasons for that mostly had to do with realizing that we really didn’t need one and knowing that the likelihood of Coming 2 America being just a simple retread of the original was high.

After recently taking over the throne of Zamunda, King Akeem (Eddie Murphy) has to embark on a new adventure. Along with Semmi (Arsenio Hall), his most trusted confidante, the newly crowned king needs to travel back to America. His mission? To track down the long-lost son (Jermaine Fowler) he never knew he had. 

As it turns out, the callbacks to the original film didn’t overwhelm like I feared they would. They weren’t always enjoyable either, but they didn’t disrupt or take away from the movie like they could have. In reality, these segments are more for fan service so plenty of viewers will get a kick out of seeing these characters and scenarios again.

To go along with the callbacks to old characters and jokes, there are an insane amount of cameos as well. Since I didn’t follow the movie before I actually saw it, some of these were quite surprising and fun to see as well. While they don’t necessarily add to the film as a whole, I didn’t mind them much either.

Story-wise, Coming 2 America is completely predictable. We’ve seen this story several times now in different forms over the past number of years. I won’t give anything away but it goes exactly where you think it’s going to go. That puts a slight damper on what we get here in general, but are you really here for the story?

I’m assuming the vast majority of us are not. The story is here because it has to be. Viewers are watching this Eddie Murphy-led feature for the laughs. In that area, I believe a good chunk of people will be satisfied with what’s here. I found most of the comedy to be decent but nothing included is all that memorable.

Because of what the comedy turned out to be, you’ll definitely have some people who won’t find too much to laugh about. It mostly comes down to taste and how much it takes to get a reaction. If these types of viewers see the comedy as being lukewarm, they’re going to have a hard time truly enjoying what’s here.

One of my biggest complaints here is the lack of interactions between Akeem and Semmi. Of course, this is one of the many positives from the original and I would have loved it if they just gave us more of these two together. Obviously, the characters work well together, but the chemistry between Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall remains legit too.

Of course, Coming 2 America isn’t as good and won’t be as beloved as its predecessor, but it’s funny at times and is full of life. And although they touch on plenty of things that we saw the first time around, it does just enough to separate itself to some degree. However, I do wish they could have done more with what they had.

Ultimately, Coming 2 America isn’t a movie that had to be made. In the end, it’s okay, but you’ll forget just about everything you saw as soon as the credits begin to roll. In a way, that could be a disappointment in itself for some people since the original is a classic that so many have such fond memories of. With that being said, I think giving it a chance is harmless if you’re curious.

Rating: PG-13

Director: Craig Brewer

Kenya Barris
Barry W. Blaustein
David Sheffield

Eddie Murphy
Arsenio Hall
Jermaine Fowler
Leslie Jones
Tracy Morgan
KiKi Layne
Shari Headley,
Wesley Snipes
James Earl Jones
John Amos
Teyana Taylor
Vanessa Bell Calloway
Paul Bates
Nomzamo Mbatha
Bella Murphy

Film Length: 108 minutes

Release Date: March 5, 2021

Distributor: Amazon Prime

  • 6/10
    Score - 6/10
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