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Coming 2 America: Not everything needs a sequel

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Coming 2 America

Has there been an actor or actress with a more roller coaster of a career than Eddie Murphy? He started on such a high with SNL, his stand-up, Beverley Hills Cop, 48 Hours, Trading Places, Beverley Hills Cop 2, and of course the original Coming To America. Then he crashed and sucked for a little bit of a time. He then bounces back with his late 90s kid movie revival (although the whole trannie prostitute arrest may have been considered a low point), or at least I remember those movies being good. I'll say that 7 years old me thought Dr. Dolittle was hilarious, it very well may not be but **** it I won't ever re-watch them. His real strength was the animated movies at this time. Mulan and the first 2 Shreks are great, and he is one of the main reasons for that. Then came the 2000s, and he went to ****tsvile once again. He made Hunks of pure garbage like Norbit and Daddy Day Camp and just more kid-friendly nonsense that even kids thought were ****ing garbage. Just when you counted this dude out wham ****ing bam he is back on the comeback trail with the excellent Dolomite Is My Name and this highly anticipated sequel. Full disclosure I thought it was a bad idea at first, but the trailer gave me high hopes. Unfortunately, it appears my gut reaction of it being a bad idea was dead on accurate

This movie does have a few highlights in it. The biggest highlight was all the old callbacks and old characters to the first one. The old characters like the barbershop guys are still funny even if they are somewhat more censored than they were in the original. The lady that Prince Akeem was supposed to be married to in the first, still being stuck barking like a dog and hopping on one leg and dressed in the same outfit, got a huge laugh from me. I wasn’t expecting that at all, and it was a great idea to have it featured. Again the call back to the club scene in the original (the one where they are interviewing all the girls to be a suitor), that's one of the best scenes from the first, so good call on bringing it back up here in this one. Having the preacher and Randy Watson and Sexual Chocolate close out the movie was pretty funny as well. Having the rapping twins from the original club scene was once again funny. If only they had the landlord make a guest spot then all the great side characters from the original would have been complete. Even the reference to Trading Places was a nice little nod. Basically, all the fun in this movie is based on the original.

Murphy, Arsenio, and Snipes are so damn good in this as well. Snipe plays the slightly unhinged dictator so well. He has a good balance of crazy and funny. He is also really captivating and seemed to really enjoy playing the role. Arsenio was arguably the funniest part of the movie. His line delivery was really good. Like when Akeem says “we are going back to America” and Semmi goes “Oh Hell No”, his facial reaction and the way he said it was perfect. His argument with Tracey Morgans' character may have been the only funny part in the second half of this movie. He also offers up the only funny new character in the movie in Baba. The old witch-doctor role was pretty funny. Arsenio took full advantage of his chance to shine and showcased his comedy skills, after decades of him being forgotten and no one caring about him. Eddie is still charming, and he is really good as Akeem he offers a few laughs along the way as well.

There is however far more bad than good in this movie. The worst part of this movie is the writing. Man however wrote this movie was lazy as ****. They just took the original script and then copied and pasted and tried to pass it off as a new movie. The newer characters and their arcs are exactly the same as in the original. Prince Lavelle does the exact same thing as Akeem does in the original. They both defy their father's orders, they both don’t want an arranged marriage and want to find their own loves. The only real difference between the two is that Eddie Murphy was more likeable in the original and Lavelle really was just annoying more than anything. Look the plot for this new movie plot should have been focused solely on Akeems older daughter and her rise to power. They could have had her come to America because she ran away because she felt pressure or some ****ing bull****. It would have had her interacting with modern America and arguably would have had more opportunities to be funny than this one was. They still would have had the focus on female empowerment and all the other stuff. Listen I know that isn't the most original idea, and it's still a copy of the original but there really is only so much you can do to follow up the greatness of the first. General Izzi’s daughter was also exactly like her Aunt in only serving the king's needs. There was also an immense failure to create any new funny characters. For the most part, the new characters aren't funny and are just obnoxious dumb American stereotypes. The second half of the movie was just so unfunny and really kills any sort of joy the first half brought.

The director did a **** job as well. There were a **** more dance number and musical shenanigans than there really should have been. The whole King funeral was super unnecessary and all the musical acts like En Vogue (really breaking the bank on getting them), Salt-N-Pepa (once again you really emptied the wallet on getting them to appear here), and Gladys Knight. None of them were funny, and it just dragged on, and it offered no humor. The dance routine and rap between General Izzi’s daughter and Prince Lavale was also unfunny and probably sealed the deal on me not ever liking Lavale. The only dance and number that was good were Randy Watson and Sexual Chocolate. I’m not sure if this falls under the director or writer, but it seems that Lavale isn't Akkem’s son. Mary’s face states that he isn't Akeems son but hey why follow up with this idea at all and just let it go nowhere. The director may have paid homage to the original a little too much and failed to give this movie its own separate identity. He also turned the royal family into a elite group of superheroes. The 3 kids were there own little Black Panthers, especially the oldest daughter. She kicked general Izzi's henchmen ass so badly that Nick Fury was in his way to get her to join the new Avengers team. The only family member to not show some slick fighting skills was James Earl Jones, who I assume is now 200 years old or at least that is what he looks to be age wise. Dudes a legend in acting but i don’t want to see him on film again. I have no idea why they needed to be so skilled in fighting but good for the girls being badasses.

Overall this movie is just okay. It offers a few laughs, but it's not even a quarter as funny as the original. There was so much potential, but it just failed to deliver on expectations. There was a complete lack of making new and funny characters (except Baba and General Izzi), in fact, the newer ones were more annoying and unlikable, which explains why the second half of this movie isn't very good. The old guys though still kill it here. Murphy, Snipes, and Arsenio are all hilarious and carry this movie the whole way. They make some good callbacks and references to the original, but they also rely too much on the old material. Eddie’s comeback is still going solid though since he was good in this, its just not a great movie. Just go and watch the original, it's leaps and bound funnier than this and just so much more fun. 6/10

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