Eddie Murphy grants the masses a royal return to Zamunda in ‘Coming 2 America.’
The sequel to 1988’s ‘Coming To America’ reunites the legendary star with Arsenio Hall and a number of new and known faces for a fresh chapter.
One which finds Prince Akeem on the cusp of becoming king of Zamunda, only to discover he has a son he never knew about in America — a street-savvy Queens native named Lavelle.
To honor the former king’s dying wish to groom his grandson as the crown prince, Akeem, and Semmi head back to America for an adventure like no other.
Set to make a major splash on Amazon‘s Prime Video tomorrow (March 5), That Grape Juice was privy to an early watch of one of the year’s most hotly anticipated films.
Join us below as we unpack TGJ’s 5 Reasons You Must See ‘Coming 2 America’...
The Movie Adds An Enjoyable New Layer To A Classic
Journeying down memory lane is always tricky terrain with a franchise as loved as ‘Coming To America.’ In this instance, the 30-year distance between the original and its follow-up works to its benefit.
If like us, you’ve ever daydreamed about what Prince Akeem, Semmii, and friends are up to in the here and now, this serves its purpose with a hearty helping of nostalgia.
It admittedly isn’t essential to the overall ‘Coming To America’ narrative. Rather, it functions as an enjoyable companion piece – for those who want it. Its incidental arrival on a streamer rather than on cinema screens further helps establish that demarkation the more.
The original ‘Coming To America’ unquestionably remains the “main meal,” but this is a sweet treat in its own right.
The New Characters Work…For The Most Part
The past can only ever carry a franchise so far. As such, the return to Zamunda after three decades required the introduction of new faces.
Jermaine Fowler steps into the role of unknowing Prince, Lavelle.
In many ways, the rising star serves as one of the leading forces in the film. And while he’s unlikely to nab Oscar nominations in any of the dramatic categories, he delivers an amiable performance.
Similarly, the likes of Tracy Morgan, Wesley Snipes, and Teyana Taylor usher in new energy in ways that balance out the melodramatic performance of fellow newcomer Leslie Jones – who was a little too turnt as Mary Junson.
The Returning Characters Haven’t Missed A Step
From James Earl Jones to Arsenio Hall to John Amos, the OG’s show up and show out as they reprise their revered roles.
Granted their time on screen isn’t as plentiful as in the past (so as to facilitate the new narrative), they still manage to give us that warm fuzzy feeling of familiarity. One that is even more comforting given that they’ve lost none of their luster.
While the cast list is lengthy, there are a number of additional special guests who make unannounced appearances.
Some will have your jaw on the floor, others will have you grooving.
What’s for sure is that that element of surprise – which is arguably a lost art in today’s spoiler-heavy media scape – works to great effect in ‘Coming 2 America.’
No Cost Sparred
Make no mistake, ‘Coming 2 America’ watches expensive.
Aesthetically, no corners were cut. Instead, it’s clear the only thing that was cut is checks. Because every frame is both lush and lotioned. The sets are vivid, the colors piercing, and the backdrops astounding. Ruth E. Carter outdid herself with the costuming, reminding why she’s oh so deserving of her recent star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Seriously, folks, each scene is a visual feast.
Special effects also play a vital role in marrying this tale with the original.
‘Coming 2 America’ serves as a fun-filled return to Zamunda. Unashamed in its brand of wacky, it can’t rival the effortless cool of its predecessor. But it doesn’t ever feel like it tries to.
Instead, it puts forth an easily digestible adventure that can be enjoyed by those visiting the fictional African country for the first time and those returning with ample expectation.