Todd’s Take: “Coming 2 America”, Ultimately, Worth the Wait
*THERE ARE NO SPOILERS IN THE FOLLOWING REVIEW!*
It's almost hard to believe that it has be 33 years (!) since we were first introduced to the character Prince Akeem as played by comic legend Eddie Murphy in "Coming to America". When I heard that there was a sequel being made, I was excited but also had some trepidation as sequels almost never live anywhere close to the originals.
Because of the pandemic and COVID-19 protocols shuttering movie theaters for the better part of the last year, the cleverly titled "Coming 2 America" was sent to home video and debuted today (March 4) on Amazon Prime. I couldn't hardly wit to get home to watch it. My wife, son and I sat down with a couple of bowls of microwave popcorn to view it and, ultimately, "Coming 2 America" was worth the three decades-long wait!
As I prefaced, I will not give any spoilers but I will give you the synopsis as listed on the film's entry on the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) website:
"The African monarch Akeem learns he has a long-lost son in the United States and must return to America to meet this unexpected heir and build a relationship with his son. "
The flick is chock-full of nostalgia and homages to the original with virtually every major cast member from the '88 original makes a return to reprise their role -- even if just for a brief moment. James Earl Jones, who recently turned 90 years old, appears as the dying King Jaffe Joffer with sensitivity. Arsenio Hall and Eddie Murphy pull double duty again and get more laughs playing their beloved characters in more barber shop scenes and, of course, as the Reverend Brown and Randy Watson fronting his band "Sexual Chocolate".
There are a ton of cameo appearance by some titans of stage, screen, TV, music and the sports world as well including a prominant new character in the sequel played by comedian Tracy Morgan. Wesley Snipes is also a main character this time around and the great Morgan Freeman even appears. Musically, hip-hop groups En Vogue, Salt-'N-Pepa do musical numbers as well as the great Gladys Knight. Louie Anderson and the Daily Show host Trevor Noah also appear on screen. Notably absent from the original cast were Eriq La Salle and the late Madge Sinclair.
For my money though, the scene-stealer was played by Leslie Jones who plays the mother of Prince Akeem's son. Watch for yourself and enjoy a trip to yesteryear that also contains a very positive message about the importance of family and empowering women as well.
I give "Coming 2 America" 7 stars out of 10.