Movie Review: Coming 2 America is a nostalgic but mostly silly affair

“Coming To America” is Eddie Murphy in his prime. It was 80s Eddie Murphy which also included 48HRS, Harlem Nights, and Beverly Hills Cop. Which is why I was happy to see Coming 2 America finally become a reality.

But this latest outing with Prince Akeem is mostly a nostalgic and mildly amusing film. Sometimes ridiculous and nowhere near the original.

When Akeem discovers the future of Zamunda may be in danger, he must return to America to find the male heir he realized he did not have (don’t worry, it’s explained). The whole gang is here including Arsenio Hall as Semmi, and James Earl Jones as the fading King. We also get Wesley Snipes, Leslie Jones, and Tracy Morgan in new roles.

But we don’t get the same iconic big laughs this time out, and the role switching done by Murphy and Hall this time doesn’t hit the way it did back in the day. Director Craig Brewer gives us a good looking movie, just not a really funny one. There are times when it just dissolves into goofiness. It also should have been a rated R movie like it’s predecessor.

Coming 2 America will still be enjoyed on a lower level by fans. Hearing this crew mumble in the background is where a lot of the enjoyment comes from, and the seeing Akeem and Semmi find their way in a modern New York certainly isn’t boring. Wesley Snipes also steals every scene he’s in as the warlord threatening the crown.

In the end, I’m mostly happy the film got made but it certainly could have been done better. The first is still the greatly superior movie, but if you enjoyed the original, it’s not an awful night of streaming at home.

Coming 2 America

GRADE: C-

Running Time: 1 Hour 48 minutes

Rated: PG 13

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