“Coming 2 America,” the most disappointing sequel in years

Life is chaotic. It’s full of twists and turns, surprises are at every corner and nothing is ever truly certain. However, there are times when life—miraculously— gives you exactly what you’re expecting. 

Coming 2 America recently came out, a movie that nobody asked for and a movie nobody expected to be good, and by God, those expectations were completely met.

This movie is of the worst possible kind. It’s light years away from being good, but it’s not bad enough to be enjoyed in an ironic way. It’s just plain bad, boring, and unfunny. 

On top of that, it’s a sequel to the original Coming to America, a film that I’m personally fond of. So what went wrong with the sequel?

My favourite thing about the movie—besides the part when it ended—was the costumes. I liked the vibrant and occasionally ridiculous outfits the cast wore. To some extent, the costumes were often the best indicator of a character’s given personality, so I applaud the designers. 

One of my biggest problems with Coming 2 America is the fact that we are only actually in America for about 15 minutes. What made the original Coming to America so much fun was seeing the friendly Prince Akeem—played by Eddie Murphy—juxtaposed against the crude New York landscape. 

The same formula worked for Crocodile Dundee and, more recently, Borat—and it’sits sequel. The original film stood out because it balanced being both funny and wholesome. It was a feel-good movie that everybody could enjoy. 

Unfortunately, we don’t go back to America for very long. Instead we have Akeem track down his long lost son Lavelle—played by Jermaine Fowler—and take him back to Zamunda to be prince. 

So basically, we see Lavelle exploringe Zamunda, rather than Akeem exploring America. Not a horrible idea, I guess, but the concept falls apart when the film restricts us to the royal palace. 

We never get to see what Zamuda is really like, just the wacky antics of the palace. In addition, while Fowler seems like an okay actor, his comedic chops don’t hold a candle to Eddie Murphy’s back in the original film.

Speaking of Eddie Murphy, it disappoints me to say that he’s one of the worst parts about this movie. He doesn’t care, constantly looking bored and disinterested on-screen.

I don’t know if he lost his passion or if he’s only there for a fat paycheck, but watching him made me want to cry. 

This is especially saddening since I recently watched Dolemite is my Name on Netflix. Eddie Murphy was in the starring role and completely stole the show. He was hilarious and acted really well. 

He clearly cared about the character he was portraying and wanted the movie to be successful. That performance was only two years ago. If the same Eddie showed up for Coming 2 America, he could have doubled my enjoyment. 

Tracy Morgan, Leslie Jones, Arsenio Hall, Wesley Snipes, James Earl Jones:; all of these people are in the movie and regardless of all of that talent, the film is still a huge, steaming turd.

Another thing the film botches is its attempt at an inspirational message. Obviously, this isn’t a problem in itself; film is often used to promote important social messages and it often succeeds in both raising awareness and being entertaining.

Coming 2 America decided to do this in the most obvious and boring way. Part of the plot is centered around Akeem’s daughter being upset that she’s not allowed to next in line to the throne because she is a woman.

Blah, blah, blah, she helps Lavelle pass his tests to become a prince and shows how capable she is until at the end of the movie, surprise, now you’re next in line to be queen! How shocking and inspirational. 

Also, Akeem’s daughters all beat up the bad guy at the end of the movie who doubted them because they were girls. There is nothing engaging or entertaining about these developments.

While a movie like Borat 2 is far from a feminist movie, it promotes a feminist message with comedy and interesting situations that don’t make the audience roll their eyes.

Honestly, this is a movie I wouldn’t recommend to anyone. If you have to do work and you need background noise, I guess Coming 2 America would be okay. You certainly wouldn’t have to worry about it distracting you.

If you can hold your attention for the entire duration of the film, then please call your doctor to find out what granted you such mental fortitude.

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