If only I had as much fun as the cast appeared to have! That’s not to say it didn’t have its moments; it did. Seeing the first film, “Coming to America,” isn’t a prerequisite, but it does lend itself to a few inside laughs. However, the collaborative efforts of the writers get you up to speed throughout the film does level the playing field of those who have and have not seen the first one.
The storyline from a female’s perspective is a frustrating one. Prince Akeem (Eddie Murphy) becomes the king after his father, King Jaffe Joffer (James Earl Jones) departs from this earthly world. There’s a price on Akeem’s head so he must he find his male offspring from another mother to take his place rather than one of his three brilliant daughters because the law dictates that no female can become a ruler of their country.
Traveling back to NYC, we are introduced to the bodacious former streetwalker Mary (Leslie Jones) who is the mother of King Akeem’s son Lavelle Junson (Jermaine Fowler). Jones is comic gold, adding that energy and punch the script needed, but we needed more of her to freshen up this story. Thankfully, the familiar barbershop men return to remind us of the film’s predecessor, eliciting a few belly laughs.
It’s a star-studded cast including Morgan Freeman as himself, Louie Anderson, Tracy Morgan, Wesley Snipes, Kiki Lane and more including many from the cast of the first film. Incredible costuming from Ruth E. Carter gives the entire film that vivid visual punch, but the laughs seem to lag overall. There’s a line in the film referencing the fact that sequels can never measure up to the original and they are right.
If you see this, stick around after the credits…way after. There are a few outtakes and scenes you don’t want to miss.