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Movie Review: ‘Coming 2 America’

In 1988, Eddie Murphy created a gaggle of some of his best loved characters with the release of Coming to America. His work as Prince Akeem Joffer showed a kind of different side to him, more the romantic leading man as opposed to the smart aleck roles he brilliantly gave us in 48 Hrs., Trading Places, The Golden Child and the first two Beverly Hills Cop films. Not only that, but he chose to break some new ground for his career by playing several other characters under heavy prosthetic makeup. Now Akeem is back in a sequel uninspiringly titled Coming 2 America.

As we rejoin Akeem and his wife Lisa (Shari Headley), they are celebrating their 30th anniversary. They have three daughters, but no son, a fact that is upsetting to King Jaffe Joffer (James Earl Jones) since only a male can inherit the throne of Zamunda. He tells Akeem that their family shaman has discovered Akeem sired a son during his trip to America.

Akeem decides to travel back to Queens with his best friend Semmi (Arsenio Hall), find the man, Lavelle Junson (Jermaine Fowler), bring him back to Zamunda and teach him how to be a proper prince. Lavelle convinces Akeem that his mother, Mary (Leslie Jones), needs to come with them, too. On top of dealing with a new son, Akeem is also faced with fending off threats from General Izzi (Wesley Snipes), the leader of the neighboring country of Nextdoria.

Even though Coming 2 America is a sequel, it almost feels unfair to compare the two. In my eyes, they really are two different kinds of movies. Both are, of course, comedies, so that’s not what’s at question here. It’s the particular type of comedy each is that makes comparison tricky, to say the

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