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Review Coming 2 America (2021): Funny for the first 5 minutes or so....

genre: comedy, romance

When the sequel was announced I was quite skeptical. I mean so long after the original one would have to come up with something totally new or fresh to even come close to the classic. I used to watch the original almost every year. And I can assure you that I laughed at the same places like I did the first time. That is how good the original is. But then they showed the trailer. Let's just say that it looked like this sequel was actually going to be funny.

For the first 5 minutes I was convinced it was only to get better. However soon after I realized that Coming 2 America was going to fail miserably. Why? Since it's pretty obvious where the story was going from the start. First of all the story is lame. It doesn't really make much sense in relation to the original. Why would Prince Akeem who broke with tradition suddenly be so scared and faithful to the way of Zamunda? This never ever gets explained. One could assume that because of his old age that Prince Akeem has reverted into old ways and customs. Not uncommon. Still would have been nice had the film explored this. So Zamunda is under major threat if they can't produce a male heir so that he can marry General Izzi's daughter to keep the peace? Even if the old promise kept things peaceful why then suddenly would there be a need for war? Is General Izzy that war hungry? BTW General Izzy played by Wesley Snipes is one of the highlights in the film. He probably is one of the few who knows he is in a comedy. His approach to the typical African dictator is truly funny. And yes, it does seem General Izzy could go to war any second but it's obvious that he only wants to do so because for the sake of his daughter. I think they should and could have exaggerated the threat a little more. So you have three very capable daughters in this day and age? But still because of custom a male heir is needed? Come on now! In current woke climate can such a thing even be a thing? Why was Prince Akeem considered a weak king? Also something that didn't get explained or explored. 

Weak story I could live with had the film be funny for the most part. But for whatever reason the funniest people in the film don't get the screen time they actually deserve. Eddie Murphy who is supposed to be the lead is nothing but a side character who doesn't do much. Why? Wesley Snipes who is funny only is in it for the scenes to progress the story. Why not give him more scenes concerning his homeland or how he governs his country and family. All the other characters even the double roles portrayed by Arsenio Hall and Eddie Murphy miss the mark completely. Yes there are references to the original but other than referencing there are no clever jokes in relation to them. It more or less is a repeat of the original without compelling characters or any of the jokes. It does look like a lot of money has been spent on Zamunda and the way it looks. But that has come at a cost of the coming to America bit since they are barely there. 

I am at a loss. There was so much potential for this to be funny and good. Instead it's nothing but a repeat of the original without a hint of cleverness. It's immensely disappointing. Especially since Eddie did had done so much more with Dolemite Is My Name. That one might have been flawed too at least it had heart. Doesn't seem like a lot of love has gone into this production. Other than a clear attempt to cash in on the success of Black Panther.

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