Friday, March 5, 2021

Coming 2 America Review: A Hilarious Return For King Akeem

Eddie Murphy	...	Prince Akeem / Clarence / Saul / Randy Watson Arsenio Hall	Arsenio Hall	...	Semmi / Morris / Reverend Brown / Baba KiKi Layne	KiKi Layne	...	Meeka Shari Headley	Shari Headley	...	Lisa James Earl Jones	James Earl Jones	...	King Jaffe Joffer Teyana Taylor	Teyana Taylor	...	Bopoto Paul Bates	Paul Bates	...	Oha Morgan Freeman	Morgan Freeman	...	Self Nomzamo Mbatha	Nomzamo Mbatha	...	Mirembe Wesley Snipes	Wesley Snipes	...	General Izzi Jermaine Fowler	Jermaine Fowler	...	Lavelle Junson Rotimi	Rotimi	...	Idi Izzi Louie Anderson	Louie Anderson	...	Maurice Leslie Jones	Leslie Jones	...	Mary Junson Trevor Noah	Trevor Noah	...	Totatsi Bibinyana

Release date: March 5, 2020
Running time: 106 minutes
Starring Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, Jermaine Fowler, Leslie Jones, Tracy Morgan, KiKi Layne, Shari Headley, with Wesley Snipes and James Earl Jones. Also starring John Amos, Teyana Taylor, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Paul Bates, Nomzamo Mbatha, Bella Murphy
Directed by Craig Brewer
Screenplay by Kenya Barris and Barry W. Blaustein & David Sheffield

Set in the lush and royal country of Zamunda, newly-crowned King Akeem (Eddie Murphy) and his trusted confidante Semmi (Arsenio Hall) embark on an all-new hilarious adventure that has them traversing the globe from their great African nation to the borough of Queens, New York – where it all began. Original cast favorites from Coming to America return including King Jaffe Joffer (James Earl Jones), Queen Lisa (Shari Headley), Cleo McDowell (John Amos), Maurice (Louie Anderson) and the motley barbershop crew. Joining this star-studded ensemble are Wesley Snipes, Leslie Jones, Tracy Morgan, Jermaine Fowler, Bella Murphy, Rotimi, KiKi Layne, Nomzamo Mbatha and Teyana Taylor, making Coming 2 America the most anticipated comedy film of the year.

Trevor Noah	...	Totatsi Bibinyana John Amos	John Amos	...	Cleo McDowell Michael Blackson	Michael Blackson	...	Nexdorian Lieutenant Kevin T. DeWitt	Kevin T. DeWitt	...	Nice Man (as Kevin DeWitt) Bella Murphy	Bella Murphy	...	Omma Rodney Perry	Rodney Perry	...	Cousin Akiley Love	Akiley Love	...	Tinashe Vanessa Bell Calloway	Vanessa Bell Calloway	...	Imani Izzi Alise Willis	Alise Willis	...	Bathing Girl (as Alise S. Willis) Terry Ellis	Terry Ellis	...	En Vogue Tracy Morgan	Tracy Morgan	...	Uncle Reem Rhona Bennett	Rhona Bennett	...	En Vogue Cindy Herron	Cindy Herron	...	En Vogue (as Cindy Herron-Braggs) Cheryl 'Salt' James	Cheryl 'Salt' James	...	Salt Clint Smith	Clint Smith	...	Sweets Pepa	Pepa	...	Pepa (as Sandra Denton) Ned Garnier	Ned Garnier	...	Concession Stand Worker David Lengel	David Lengel	...	Ride Share Driver Rick Ross	Rick Ross	...	Nexdorian Commander Michael Rubino	Michael Rubino	...	Cop 2 Luenell	Luenell	...	Livia (as Luenell Campbell) Perry Zulu Jr.	Perry Zulu Jr.	...	Photographer Garcelle Beauvais	Garcelle Beauvais	...	Rose Bearer Priestess Navv Greene	Navv Greene	...	Cousin 2 Brittney Ivory Culbreath	Brittney Ivory Culbreath	...	Bathing Girl 1 En Vogue	En Vogue	...	En Vogue Salt-N-Pepa	Salt-N-Pepa	...	Salt-N-Pepa Quanice Kirkland	Quanice Kirkland	...	Bathing Girl 3
Coming 2 America has Eddie Murphy reprising his role, yet updates the story, scenarios, and references to a more modern era.  Eddie Murphy perfectly jumps back in as king, but now has to contend with his future and the clash of traditional practices with more modern sensibilities.  He is joined on this journey by some old stalwarts from the first movie and some new additions that feel right at home.  There are enough returning cast members to make this feel like a real sequel, and the new characters definitely change the trajectory of the film.  Leslie Jones and Jermaine Fowler are fun additions, as is Wesley Snipes who takes on a new, ridiculous character that made me laugh every time.  And although the humor in the sequel feels more scattershot, it is still very funny.  Eddie Murphy is hilarious, but the comedy burden is shared among many of the individuals.   Leslie Jones and Jermaine Fowler are both refreshing and funny as new members of the Zamunda royal family.  And there is plenty of ridiculousness in the film that is not explained but very funny.  The competing nation has a drumline vibe that made me laugh every time I saw it.  And there are so many wonderful cameos and call backs to other films that you will be laughing at the sheer randomness of it all. 

The movie deals with traditions versus modern trends, and tries to use levity to seed some modern societal trends.  And it brings back a lot of characters from the previous films to reprise their roles, as well as a lot of cameos.  It feels like an older style movie, one that we don't get as often.  But Coming 2 America also has updates that drag it into the modern era.  The Zamunda have a vibrant, stereotypical African feel, although with much more silliness infused.  But it still feels like the movie, despite its comedic focus, did take some care in constructing this fictional African country.  However, in confronting these modern trends the movie also feels like it could have done more.  The movie feels like a spectacle, but also one that tried to go bigger in every respect.  It leads to lots of hilarity and some wonderful cameos, but feels a little overproduced compared to its classic source material.  And in order to create the central conflict, Eddie Murphy's character has a new, uncharacteristic circumstance to set it up.  And while confronting this conflict, he also goes through some convenient personality changes to fit the new conflict that just feel out of place.  Overall it feels like this sequel did not need to be made, but it was a hilarious journey and fun to see all these characters reprise their roles.

Coming 2 America sees a return to Zamunda with a lot of the same cast from the Eddie Murphy classic along with new characters, cameos, and some modern updates.   

Rent it.

Gladys Knight	...	Self Chelsea Hayes	Chelsea Hayes	...	Assistant John Legend	John Legend	...	John Legend Princess Victoria Rouche	Princess Victoria Rouche	...	Choir Singer LaKeta Booker	LaKeta Booker	...	Choir Singer Erica Dawson	Erica Dawson	...	Choir Singer Sherie Murphy	Sherie Murphy	...	Choir Singer Sherita Murphy	Sherita Murphy	...	Choir Singer Amber Brianna Lawrence-Bullock	Amber Brianna Lawrence-Bullock	...	Choir Singer Dionne Charisse Tyson	Dionne Charisse Tyson	...	Choir Singer Y'Anna Crawley	Y'Anna Crawley	...	Choir Singer Justin Chase	Justin Chase	...	Izzi Soldier Dancer Davido	Davido	...	Davido Donny Savage	Donny Savage	...	Manservant Darren Wade	Darren Wade	...	Izzi Soldier Dancer LaMonte Ponder	LaMonte Ponder	...	Izzi Soldier Dancer Zack Lee	Zack Lee	...	Izzi Soldier Dancer Vanessa Rodriguez	Vanessa Rodriguez	...	Fresh Peaches Colin Jost	Colin Jost	...	Mr. Duke Elijah Oliver	Elijah Oliver	...	Izzi Soldier Dancer Janette Rosillo	Janette Rosillo	...	Sugar Cube Xavier Durman	Xavier Durman	...	Izzi Soldier Dancer Artrell Manning	Artrell Manning	...	Izzi Soldier Dancer Dikembe Mutombo	Dikembe Mutombo	...	Dikembe Mutombo Quintrail Davis	Quintrail Davis	...	Izzi Soldier Dancer Rob Smith	Rob Smith	...	Lyft Passenger Xavier Joe Wilcher	Xavier Joe Wilcher	...	Izzi Soldier Dancer (as Xavier Wilcher) Gary Beauford	Gary Beauford	...	Izzi Soldier Dancer Sayquon Keys	Sayquon Keys	...	Izzi Soldier Dancer Dontae Iverson	Dontae Iverson	...	Izzi Soldier Dancer Eddie Eskridge	Eddie Eskridge	...	Dancing Drummer Christopher Z. Harris	Christopher Z. Harris	...	Dancing Drummer Bernard Bell	Bernard Bell	...	Dancing Drummer Jihlanni Faust	Jihlanni Faust	...	Dancing Drummer (as Jihlanni Perez-Faust) Antwon Keith Collier	Antwon Keith Collier	...	Dancing Drummer (as Antwon Collier) Walter Holloway III	Walter Holloway III	...	Dancing Drummer (as Walter Holloway) Peter Styles	Peter Styles	...	Dancing Drummer Ahsia Pettigrew	Ahsia Pettigrew	...	Get Off Dancer (as Ahsia Janae' Pettigrew) Rachel Gladney	Rachel Gladney	...	Get Off Dancer Da'Nelle Garrett	Da'Nelle Garrett	...	Get Off Dancer Timara Melchor	Timara Melchor	...	Get Off Dancer Desi-Ray Morris	Desi-Ray Morris	...	Get Off Dancer Alannah Wilhite	Alannah Wilhite	...	Get Off Dancer Marquita Washington	Marquita Washington	...	Get Off Dancer Andranita Smith	Andranita Smith	...	Get Off Dancer Jacoby Hutchins	Jacoby Hutchins	...	Freestyle Dancer Ayorinde Kemit	Ayorinde Kemit	...	Freestyle Dancer Rayana Richards	Rayana Richards	...	Freestyle Dancer Akosua Akoto	Akosua Akoto	...	Female African Dancer Arata A. Maat	Arata A. Maat	...	Female African Dancer Cilva Timothy	Cilva Timothy	...	Female African Dancer Imania F. Detry	Imania F. Detry	...	Female African Dancer Kyaien O'Quinn Conner	Kyaien O'Quinn Conner	...	Female African Dancer Lindsay Renea Benton	Lindsay Renea Benton	...	Female African Dancer Malaiyka Reid	Malaiyka Reid	...	Female African Dancer Naderah Munajj	Naderah Munajj	...	Female African Dancer Natali Micciche	Natali Micciche	...	Female African Dancer Christina Gerard-Sylla	Christina Gerard-Sylla	...	Female African Dancer Mi'lynn Tomasini	Mi'lynn Tomasini	...	Female African Dancer Mekka Wilson	Mekka Wilson	...	Female African Dancer Asiel Hardison	Asiel Hardison	...	Male African Dancer Camaron Donnell Ballard	Camaron Donnell Ballard	...	Male African Dancer Reginald Johnson	Reginald Johnson	...	Male African Dancer Tourus Jerelds	Tourus Jerelds	...	Male African Dancer DaeSun Cupid	DaeSun Cupid	...	Male African Dancer Ibrahima Diouf	Ibrahima Diouf	...	Male African Dancer Bryce Farris	Bryce Farris	...	Male African Dancer Simone Alston	Simone Alston	...	Choir Dancer Jonathan Bryant	Jonathan Bryant	...	Choir Dancer Desiree Dixon	Desiree Dixon	...	Choir Dancer (as Desirée Dixon) Jeremy Green	Jeremy Green	...	Choir Dancer Ashanti Harris	Ashanti Harris	...	Choir Dancer Dacia James	Dacia James	...	Choir Dancer (as Dacia Lewis) Briahanna Kimbrough	Briahanna Kimbrough	...	Choir Dancer Bryan Justin	Bryan Justin	...	Choir Dancer Nefertiti Robinson	Nefertiti Robinson	...	Choir Dancer Skyler Semien	Skyler Semien	...	Choir Dancer Kenneth Strong	Kenneth Strong	...	Choir Dancer Christian Taylor	Christian Taylor	...	Choir Dancer Kara Jenelle	Kara Jenelle	...	Choir Dancer (as Kara Jenelle Wade) Averil Taylor	Averil Taylor	...	Conductor Magatte Saw	Magatte Saw	...	Zamundan Drummer (as Magatte Sow) Nigel Zuniga	Nigel Zuniga	...	Zamundan Drummer Munir Richard	Munir Richard	...	Zamundan Drummer Kodey Kitchens	Kodey Kitchens	...	Zamundan Drummer J.J. Harris-Smith	J.J. Harris-Smith	...	Zamundan Drummer (as JJ Harris-Smith) Narayana J. Hall	Narayana J. Hall	...	Zamundan Drummer Reginald Frazier	Reginald Frazier	...	Zamundan Drummer Edward Williams	Edward Williams	...	Trumpet Ronald Hampton	Ronald Hampton	...	Trumpet Willie Jackson	Willie Jackson	...	French Horn Nathaniel Spencer	Nathaniel Spencer	...	Tuba Christopher Belcher	Christopher Belcher	...	Djembe Christopher Cook	Christopher Cook	...	Timpani Tricia Lakes	Tricia Lakes	...	Violin Lewis Eichelberger	Lewis Eichelberger	...	Violin Briana Robinson	Briana Robinson	...	Violin Aaron Owens	Aaron Owens	...	Cello Noah Johnson	Noah Johnson	...	Cello Gary Clark	Gary Clark	...	Harp Rest of cast listed alphabetically: Dwayne 'Showtim3' Dyke Jr.	Dwayne 'Showtim3' Dyke Jr.	...	Club Patron (uncredited) Lola Adamson	Lola Adamson	...	Zamundan Citizen (uncredited) McDaniel Austin	McDaniel Austin	...	Palace Staff (uncredited) Tiffany Ayoung	Tiffany Ayoung	...	Attorney of Estate for Prince Hakeem (uncredited) Carl Windom Carlito	Carl Windom Carlito	...	Dancer (uncredited) Aubri Ebony	Aubri Ebony	...	Beautiful Party Girl (uncredited) Tony Eno	Tony Eno	...	Sports Fan (uncredited) Brent Moorer Gaskins	Brent Moorer Gaskins	...	Zamundan (uncredited) Raphael Gunn	Raphael Gunn	...	Ralph (uncredited) Donja Harper	Donja Harper	...	Royal Wedding Guest (uncredited) Gregory Hobson	Gregory Hobson	...	Zamundan Citizen (uncredited) Shiquita James	Shiquita James	...	Zamundan (uncredited) Artrece Johnson	Artrece Johnson	...	Servant Girl 2 (uncredited) Clyde Risley Jones	Clyde Risley Jones	...	Distressed Man (uncredited) Alexia Medlock	Alexia Medlock	...	Zamundan Palace Guest (uncredited) Max Meggs	Max Meggs	...	Cara's Husband (uncredited) Christina D. Miller	Christina D. Miller	...	Zamunda Citizen (uncredited) Aaron Quick Nelson	Aaron Quick Nelson	...	Cop 1 (uncredited) Ernest Owens	Ernest Owens	...	Bartender (uncredited) Diezel Ramos	Diezel Ramos	...	Zumandan Citizen (uncredited) Rahiem Riley	Rahiem Riley	...	Zamundan Royal Citizen (uncredited) Andrew Rossow	Andrew Rossow	...	Self (uncredited) Fred Saunders	Fred Saunders	...	Oha's Mighty Men (uncredited) Jennifer Sears	Jennifer Sears	...	Baptism Woman (uncredited) Rodrick Tann	Rodrick Tann	...	Zamundan Palace Guest (uncredited) Alzie Williams	Alzie Williams	...	1988 Club Patron (uncredited) Audrey Williams	Audrey Williams	...	Wedding Attendee (uncredited) Calvin Williams	Calvin Williams	...	Zamundan Citizen (uncredited) Teish Williams	Teish Williams	...	1980s Club Goer (uncredited) Makesha Williamson	Makesha Williamson	...	Zumandan Citizen (uncredited) Olaolu Winfunke	Olaolu Winfunke	...	Royal Manager (uncredited)

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Coming 2 America is available on Amazon Prime Video on March 5, 2020.

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