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New Releases: Coming 2 America (2021) - Reviewed

Posted By themoviesleuth 1185 days ago on Entertainment -  Is it possible to make a sequel to a beloved '80s comedy film thirty years after the fact and it capture the same magic as the original? In the case of Coming 2 America (2021) the answer is: not really.After the death of King Jaffe Joffer (James Earl Jones), Prince Akeem (Eddie Murphy) has been upgraded to King of Zamunda. Unfortunately, according to the law of the land, Akeem has no heir to the throne because he had all daughters and the heir must be a son. It turns out that Akeem had a drunken (and drug laced) one night stand while he was in Queens and it produced a son he never knew he had: Lavelle Junson (Jermiane Fowler). Akeem must travel to America once again to find his son and bring him back to Zamunda to marry the daughter of a rival nation to gain peace.   The premise for this film is pretty silly on the surface, and the title Coming 2 America is deceptive because the majority of the film actually takes place in Zamunda. For what it's worth, the focus on Zamunda is refreshing and it fleshes out the locale in some interesting ways. Where the film falters is its reliance on taking bits from the original film and rehashing them in lazy ways. Basically, they just take an iconic concept from the first film and flip it. Remember the Royal Bath women from the first film? Well now it's a woman taking a bath and the Royal Bath servants are men!  See, we subverted your expectations! Just repeat this for almost two hours and there's your movie.There are some funny bits here and there, but most of it is front loaded into the first act when Akeem goes back to Queens. Eddie Murphy is still hilarious but he just doesn't have much to work with here. Many of the jokes fall flat (an especially egregious cringy joke is that a neighboring country in Zamunda is called "Nextdoria") and outside the temporary dopamine nostalgia hit of seeing beloved characters there is no energy. Coming 2 America also tries to have a feminist side plot with Akeem's daughters trying to fight against the sexism in Zamunda but it doesn't go anywhere and the narrative itself sidelines them for Lavelle's arc. He goes through almost the exact same journey as Akeem in the first film but he doesn't have the charisma needed to carry the movie.   On a visual front, the costumes and sets are excellent with lots of beautiful designs and bright colors. The outlandish dance numbers are back in full force and there are a few surprising guest stars that liven them up. Wesley Snipes almost steals the show as the eccentric General of Nextdoria (sigh) and he injects much needed quirk into the mostly bland script. Overall, Coming 2 America is mediocre rehash that only makes one wish they were watching the original film instead.--Michelle Kisner (function() { var zergnet = document.createElement('script'); zergnet.type = 'text/javascript'; zergnet.async = true; zergnet.src = (document.location.protocol == "https:" ? "https:" : "http:") + '//'; var znscr = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; znscr.parentNode.insertBefore(zergnet, znscr); })();

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