Coming 2 America is the belated—and unnecessary—sequel to the 1988 classic Eddie Murphy vehicle Coming to America, where Prince Akeem from the African nation of Zamunda goes to Queens, New York, to find true love. In this sequel, Murphy's Prince Akeem is informed that he sired a son when he visited Queens all those years ago. It happened when he was drugged during a one-night stand. Anyway, Akeem, along with his trusted personal aide, Semmi (Arsenio Hall), return to Queens to find Akeem's illegitimate son. The plan is for the son, Lavelle (Jermaine Fowler), to marry the daughter of dictator General Izzi (Wesley Snipes) from neighboring nation Nextdoria so everything will remain peaceful. Lavelle, however, has different plans as he has become smitten with royal groomer Mirembe (Nomzamo Mbatha).
Coming 2 America is pleasant enough, but it just isn't very funny. There are some sporadic laughs, many of which come from Leslie Jones as Lavelle's mother, but she's not in the movie all that much, and, come to think of it, neither is Murphy. He's like in a co-starring role. The movie focuses too much time on the young lovers, Lavelle and Mirembe, and these characters are pretty dull.
These belated sequels constantly callback to their original films so the audience will be filled with feelings of nostalgia. The problem with this is that, often, sequels rely on this way too much and end up using the first movie as a crutch, making you remember how good the original is and then noticing how these new ones are bankrupt for ideas. Coming 2 America does so many shoehorned-in callbacks, it's ridiculous. When back in Queens, Akeem and Semmi stop by the barbershop populated by a group of old men—most of whom are played by Murphy and Hall in impressive make-up. While the two short scenes at the barbershop are amusing, they seem obligatory. Besides, it's been 30 years and these side characters were old back then. Shouldn't they be dead by now?
I chalk Coming 2 America as a disappointment. Even as an unnecessary sequel, it should have been funnier.
Coming 2 America is now streaming on Amazon Prime.
** stars (out of four)