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116. Coming 2 America; movie review

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Title : 116. Coming 2 America; movie review
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Cert 12
110 mins
BBFC advice: moderate sex references, violence, drug misuse, language, discrimination

"This is true about sequels. If something is good... why ruin it?"
Never did a movie reveal a verdict about itself better than this exchange between two of the key players in Coming 2 America.
All this film does is jog the memory of how good Eddie Murphy used to be - there is even a reference to Trading Places.
Sadly, it is a long time since his comedy tickled the funny bone and this self-indulgent follow-up to Coming To America has not changed the trend.
I am afraid it continues a very tired recent trend of trying to make extra bucks out of belated sequels.
Indeed, it has very similar problems to the attempt to breathe life into the Bill & Ted franchise.
In common with Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter, Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall look like old blokes trying to play fresh young dudes.
Murphy again plays Prince Akeem although it is 30 years on and he is just about to inherit the crown of the African state of Zumunda because his father (James Earl Jones) is on his death bed.
Otherwise, little has changed - he is still assisted/hindered by his personal assistant/punchbag, Semmi (Hall) and is married to the love of his life, Lisa (Shari Headley).
Yep, many of the same actors have been recruited, so Lisa's dad (John Amos) is still running McDowell's... in Zumunda.
Anyway, Akeem has not moved with the times as he promised, so is facing an issue over his heir because he and Lisa have three daughters and, according to the tradition which he refuses to change, the king of Zumunda must be a man.
The void attracts the unwanted attention of a neighbouring state's dictator (Wesley Snipes) who sees the opportunity for a power-grab.
That is until Akeem discovers he has an illegitimate son (Jermaine Folwer) in Queens, New York as a result of a long-forgotten one-night fling with a lady of the night (Leslie Jones).
So, off he pegs to America to find an heir, thus prompting the same old culture clash gags from 30 years previously.
The only difference this time is that we have a girl-power thing going on in the shape of Akeen's eldest (Kiki Layne) who wants to be Queen of Zamunda.
Oh, and there are also cameos for Morgan Freeman and Tracy Morgan, while Murphy and Hall repeat their trick of playing several characters.
Indeed, director Craig Brewer hasn't ruined the memory of the first film, he has just transplanted it almost brick by brick into 2021.
Money could surely have been the only driver because making a good film can't have been.

Reasons to watch: Was a classic first film
Reasons to avoid: It's a humdrum sequel

Laughs: Two
Jumps: None
Vomit: None
Nudity: None
Overall rating: 4/10

Did you know? 
Madge Sinclair (Queen Aoleon Joffer) passed away of cancer in 1995, which explains her absence in this movie.

The final word. Arsenio Hall: "The story is great and the way it's been threaded from the first is really masterful by Craig Brewer, and Kenya Barris, (Barry W.)Blaustein, and (David) Sheffield. What I love most is we didn't lose the main agenda, the humour. It does everything you need it to do but it's also funny and I think people will love the additions to it.' Complex

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