Director: Craig Brewer
Cast: Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, Jermaine Fowler
Release Date: March 8, 2022
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 5/10
Disc Rating: 7.5/10
Akeem and Semmi are back for a brand-new, hilarious adventure! In COMING 2 AMERICA, newly crowned King Akeem (Eddie Murphy) and his trusted confidante Semmi (Arsenio Hall) traverse the globe from their great African nation of Zamunda to the borough of Queens, New York when Akeem learns he has a long-lost son in the United States. In addition to Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall, the outrageously entertaining film features an incredible cast including James Earl Jones, John Amos, Louie Anderson, Shari Headley, Wesley Snipes, Tracy Morgan, and Leslie Jones.
Please Note: Paramount Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.
‘Coming 2 America’ reunites viewers with newly crowned King Akeem and his trusted and devoted right hand man Semmi. After realizing that Akeem’s kingdom may be in jeopardy due to his lack of a male heir to the throne, the duo journey back to Queens in order to track down a rumor of a potential son from his previous trip. After locating the boy and his family in New York, they all head back to Zamunda and attempt to train the boy in the ways of royalty. The female members of Akeem’s family however soon begin to take issue with the dated rules and this stranger’s prompt ascent to Prince.
Directed this time around by Craig Brewer (Hustle & Flow, Dolemite Is My Name) from a screenplay by Kenya Barris (TV’s Black-ish) and Barry W. Blaustein (Coming to America) & David Sheffield (Coming to America) and from a story by Barry W. Blaustein & David Sheffield and Justin Kanew, Brewer does a decent job at the helm of ‘Coming 2 America’ guiding along the sequel with style and keeping things moving at a steady pace. The cast includes various new and returning individuals including Eddie Murphy (Beverly Hills Cop), Arsenio Hall (Black Dynamite), Jermaine Fowler (The Opening Act), Leslie Jones (TV’s Saturday Night Live), Tracy Morgan (TV’s The Last O.G.), KiKi Layne (If Beale Street Could Talk), Shari Headley (Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween), with Wesley Snipes (Cut Throat City) and James Earl Jones (The Hunt For Red October) along with more, the majority each offering capable enough performances for the most part and if nothing else seeming to at least be having fun, especially Snipes who effortlessly tends to steal every scene he occupies.
‘Coming 2 America’ is an entertaining and frequently funny sequel with plenty of nostalgia and throwbacks to its beloved predecessor as well as most of the key cast returning even after all of these years, but it struggles to accomplish much more than rehashing old jokes and trying to throw these characters into one familiar situation after another. There’s definitely something enjoyable about reuniting with these characters after so long and while that factor alone contributes to the fun and joy of this long-awaited event, the lack of originality or anything notably clever being attempted in favor of just tweaking old jokes with a less vulgar approach causes it to still be somewhat disappointing overall and will likely have some fans wondering whether this follow-up was really necessary.
If you’re a dedicated fan of Eddie Murphy and haven’t had a chance to check this one out, you’ll probably want to try and find the opportunity to do so whenever convenient. It may not have the charm or clever wit of the original and is a definite step down in many ways, but it still serves up enough laughs, fun moments and original cast members returning to make it worth taking the time to give a chance. Nonetheless, Amazon Prime members who haven’t already done so might want to watch it free on the service prior to dropping the money on a blind purchase of the Blu-ray release just to be safe.
Overall, ‘Coming 2 America’ is a fairly enjoyable and humorous follow-up to the 1988 comedy classic that reunites Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall and most of the key cast. It rejoins our favorite Prince and his devoted confidante decades after the original as they journey from Zamunda to New York and back again. While it has its charms and enough laughs and over the top goofiness to keep viewers entertained, it never quit manages to reach the same level of greatness as its predecessor. Even while an undeniably inferior sequel, fans of the original and the key cast will probably still want to give this one a whirl and make up your own mind if you haven’t already done so. I would suggest newcomers try to find a rental option (or viewing on Prime Video if you’re a subscriber) before picking up a physical copy.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Coming 2 America’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation with the film’s original 2.00:1 Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks great as a whole and delivers a clean, smooth and nicely detailed presentation from start to finish without any faults or troubles to be located throughout. It holds up smoothly even during the heavily populated and fast moving moments and never allows anything that’s occurring onscreen to become negatively affected or rendered problematic at any point. Overall, this is a quite wonderful high definition video presentation that should easily satisfy fans and first time viewers alike.
The Blu-ray release features a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This multichannel soundtrack offers a crisp, clean and at times fairly immersive audio presentation throughout. It repeatedly takes advantage of all five available channels in order to send the music, along with nature effects, crowd chatter and plenty more throughout the various speakers at every reasonable opportunity, while never resulting in any dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously becoming distorted or rendered inaudible. Overall, this is a solid 5.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack that sounds good every step of the way and never disappoints.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Coming 2 America’ includes a few notable extras. Included on the release is an ‘Audio Commentary with Director Craig Brewer’, in addition to the Behind the Scenes Featurette ‘From Queens to Zamunda’ (running approximately 26 minutes in length) which includes cast and crew interviews/comments, plus behind the scenes footage and more. A Trailer Gallery featuring trailers for various Eddie Murphy films is also included.
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They will additionally suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.
Film Rating: 5/10
Disc Rating: 7.5/10
‘Coming 2 America’ is Now Available to Own on Blu-ray & DVD from Amazon Studios & Paramount Home Entertainment
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