‘Coming 2 America’ Receives Mixed To Negative Reviews
On March 5, Coming 2 America, the highly anticipated sequel to the 1988 romantic comedy film Coming to America starring Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall was released on the streaming service Amazon Prime Video. Murphy and Hall both returned as Prince Akeem Joffer and Semmi, along with the many other characters that they play in the movie. Craig Brewer replaced John Landis as the director of the film, while Kenya Barris served as the lead writer for the movie along with the writers of the original film Barry W. Blaustein and David Sheffield. Despite the hype that surrounded the film prior to its release, Coming 2 America received mixed to negative reviews from fans and critics alike.
Coming 2 America takes place 30 years after the end of the original film, and centers on Akeem learning from his dying father (James Earl Jones) that he unknowingly had a son named Lavelle (Jermaine Fowler) during his first visit to the United States. Akeem attempts to groom his long-lost illegitimate son into becoming the heir to the throne of his county Zamunda to marry the daughter of a warmongering general (Wesley Snipes) before he can declare war on Zamunda in retaliation for Akeem rejecting his sister (Vanessa Bell Calloway) as his bride in the previous movie.
Some fans slammed the film for its humor, which relied on several jokes from the previous movie and added almost nothing new to them. Critics also commented that Akeem was not as likable in this movie compared to the original, as he is shown to be more selfish and stubborn as opposed to the first film, where he is much more kind and easygoing. Criticism was also reserved for the new characters such as Lavelle, his mother (Leslie Jones) and his uncle (Tracy Morgan), received much more screen time than the original characters like Semmi and Akeem’s wife Lisa (Shari Headley).
However, other critics praised the film for bringing back certain elements like the characters from the barbershop (most of whom are played by Murphy and Hall) and the singer Randy Watson (also played by Murphy). Some fans also appreciated its cleaner PG-13 tone compared to the crass R-rated themes of the first film.
Fans can currently watch Coming 2 America on Amazon Prime Video and decide if this sequel was worth making 30 years after the original.