“Coming 2 America” adds more laughs as new heir to franchise


Paramount Pictures

Barbara Chang

“No journey is too great when one finds what he seeks.” This may seem like a cheesy quote that might appear on a Hallmark card, but it perfectly explains the theme of the 1988 film Coming to America: one should follow his or her own heart and never settle for a path paved by someone else. This message echoed by Eddie Murphy’s iconic character Prince Akeem continues to be centralized in the sequel, Coming 2 America.

King Akeem’s throne was threatened by General Izzi, who is reprised by Wesley Snipes, and the only solution for saving the kingdom lies in Akeem’s bastard son, Lavell, marrying Izzi’s daughter, Bopoto. King Akeem has three daughters, and his eldest has been training all her life to become queen.But the traditional laws of Zamunda won’t allow a princess to be king. In order to save his kingdom, King Akeem travels back to New York and brings prince Lavell and his family back to Zamunda. Lured by all the money, rank and power, Lavell and his family were enjoying the sophisticated lifestyle of royalty. But later on, Lavell realizes that he’ll be miserable if he accepts the arranged marriage and escapes for true love. King Akeem discovers that he let tradition consume him like his father, and that he should break the rules and become his own king, so he made his oldest daughter the Queen of Zamunda.

Within this succession drama, the movie found many moments to be hilarious, even though it brought back several jokes from the first movie. When Imani Izzi, the woman Prince Akeem was supposed to marry, came back and started barking like a dog while hopping on one leg, it was impossible to hold back laughter. . Prince Akeem’s son Lavell, his mom and his uncle brought humor from a commoner’s perspective, which helped inject relatability for all viewers . It was fun to watch Lavell’s uncle, brilliantly played by Tracy Morgan, train him to become the Prince of Queens instead of the Prince of Zamunda by emphasizing his swag. There’s also a bunch of entertaining performances by En Vogue, Teyana Taylor, Gladys Knight and many more brilliant artists who viewers are familiar with.

Murphy and Arsenio Hall brought back the chemistry between their playful dynamics as King Akeem and Semmi from the first movie, while also portraying several other characters like Randy Watson, Clarence, Morris from the barbershop and Reverend Brown from a local church in Queens. The clever but dignified banter between Hall and Murphy is just as fresh and delightful as their correspondence in Coming 2 America. Everyone in the cast did a fantastic job representing the roles they were assigned to, with some standouts who stole the scene. Leslie Jones as the mother of Prince Lavell, who King Akeem met at the club when he and Semmi were going out on the town during their first trip to Queens, was a funny highlight. Jones’ straightforward attitude really enhanced the comedy in the dialogue. King Akeem’s wife, Queen Lisa, was very elegant in the movie, but she also showed who she really was deep down: the independent girl from Queens who speaks her mind.

Coming 2 America is about self-discovery and love. It teaches the audience to always think for themselves and never allow other people to plan their future for them. The funny bits and emotional moments combined with memorable musical performances makes Coming 2 America a must-see. It’s a laugh-out-loud slapstick comedy that will brighten the hearts of most viewers.