Director: Craig Brewer
Writer: Barry W Blaustein, David Sheffield, Kenya Barris (Screenplay)
Starring: Eddie Murphy, Wesley Snipes, Shari Headley, Garcelle Beauvais, James Earl Jones, John Amos, Arsenio Hall, Jermaine Fowler
Plot: The African monarch Akeem learns he has a long-lost son in the United States and must return to America to meet this unexpected heir and build a relationship with his son.
Tagline – A sequel is in the heir.
Runtime: 1 Hour 50 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: Coming 2 America starts as we how Prince Akeem (Murphy) and his wife Lisa (Headley) have continued to live the royal life with their daughters. When King Jaffe Joffer (Jones) calls for him, seeing him looking worse for wear, he wants Prince Akeem to have his own heir to the throne, a male heir.
When Semmi (Hall) announces that Prince Akeem has his own son back in America, the pair must travel there to meet Lavelle Junson (Fowler) and see the changes in America and bring him back to his own kingdom.
Thoughts on Coming 2 America
Characters & Performances – Prince Akeem has remained in his kingdom after his adventure, he has raised his daughters with his wife and is preparing to take over as king, only he is left with the shame of not having a son to be his heir. He must take on the even deeper side of the responsible side of the kingdom, while preparing his new son to take over one day. Eddie Murphy does the basic side of his comedy without needing to do too much or ever reaching he strongest level. Semmi is the man that guided Akeem through his adventure and still keeps him safe as an advisor, he has the secrets and will do what he can to put the man on the right path. Arsenio Hall does take up a couple of roles in the film, which are usually the weaker written roles in the film. Lavelle is the illegitimate son back in Queens that Akeem learns of, he is streetwise and is start struck with the idea of being living in fame. He must learn about the new culture while still having his own desires. Jermaine Fowler does try his best in this role, but with the weak comedy, he doesn’t get to make an impact with his own brand. The supporting cast do rely on the comedy a lot more than we need and most miss or are just loud.
Story – The story here follows Prince Akeem who must look to take the throne and find his own heir to the throne once he dies, he never had a son until he learns of one night when he was in America and now he must prepare him for a new role. This is a story that could have worked very well a few years ago, with some of the serious cultural changes it wants to bring forward to the conversation, but this conversation has happened and we don’t need it anymore, life has changed already. With this interesting idea, we end up focusing too much on the new love story, which doesn’t seem as interesting as it could be, leading us down the path of watching the least interesting part of the story.
Themes – Coming 2 America is a comedy that isn’t as strong as it should be, it is however, better than most of the recent Eddie Murphy films that just end up falling flat. The locations are used well to show the change in culture both Akeem sees returning to Queens and how Lavelle learns about his new kingdom. It is very rare that I even mention product placement, this could even be the first time, but the product placement is awful in this film.