It’s been 33 years since Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall fooled so many of us by playing not only the Prince and his main sidekick making the trip over from Africa but a whole bunch of savory and saucy characters they encounter on their eye- and mind-opening trip to Queens in <em>Coming to America</em>.
Funny they were in many ways.
Fast forward to <em>Coming 2 America</em>, served to us by streaming by Amazon Prime. Directed by Craig Brewer from the screenplay by Kenya Barris, Barry W. Blaustein and David Sheffield, the comedy faithfully follows what went right the first time around.
Murphy and Hall earn the biggest spotlight as Akeem and Semmi, happy enough as the Prince and his server in the country of Zamunda until the King (always regal-voiced James Earl Jones) makes it known his days are short and there will be trouble because the Prince and wife Lisa have given the kingdom “only” two daughters. This puts their way of life in peril to the advances of neighboring Nexdoria and its sneaky general (Wesley Snipes).
The wizard knows there was a son left back in Queens on that long-ago visit.
Back go Akeem and Semmi to search.
Lots of familiarity is served up among the new plot twists, including revisiting the barber shop, joke patterns, McDowell’s and great dance songs of the 1980s.
It’s fun, but maybe not so fresh? Jermaine Fowler is solid as the heir. Leslie Jones is her refreshing self as her mother, but does reign it in a tad.
It’s worth the living room watch for an hour and 50 minutes, for sure.