I had a good time watching Coming 2 America, the sequel to Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall and James Earl Jones’s 1988 comedy classic Coming to America.
Director Craig Brewer’s film isn’t quite perfect but the parts that it gets right gave me so much joy, that I’m barely mad about the ones that didn’t fully work.
There’s a fair number of memorable funny moments, many of which you won’t see coming. And several of them feature Wesley Snipes and Leslie Jones. Another key highlight is, of course, Eddie Murphy as Prince Akeem. I was so happy to be fully present in the moments the camera was on Murphy (one of my favourite standup comics); whether it be Akeem in the present day, or young Akeem via the clever usage of old footage captured for the first movie. In this way, for me, watching Coming 2 America felt like catching up with an old friend you hadn’t seen for a very long time. One with whom you shared some of the best times of your life.
As for what I wish had been different about Coming 2 America, in no particular order, some of the de-ageing of Murphy wasn’t the best. The part of the story I consider the weakest has to be the love story. That element felt forced and rushed.
I know very well that Coming 2 America is supposed to be focused on Prince Akeem’s son. Yet, a part of me wanted the camera to focus more on Akim. I’m going to blame that on how very appreciative I am of Murphy’s general comic excellence.
Watch Coming 2 America if you haven’t already. The first movie is undoubtedly better, but there’s much fun to be had with this sequel. And chances are, you won’t want to miss the highlights mentioned above and more. Especially the performance at the party near the end. That moment had me so happy, that as soon as it was over, I had to rewind and relive it all over again. It’s been a while since I’ve partied, so maybe that’s part of the reason.
Happy Film Loving