Skyler Johnson ’22 / Emertainment Monthly Comics Section Editor
Old children’s movies have a particular charm to them. The dialogue is campy, the acting is varied, and the overall theme is simplistic and oftentimes shoved in your face. Their main strength is in their tone, as it’s upbeat so the audience leaves with a warm, fuzzy feeling after watching. This is the effect that Coming 2 America has on its audience. It’s able to provide a unique, warm, fuzzy feeling on those who watch it while being socially conscious.
Coming 2 America is the upcoming sequel to the 1988 Coming to America, which follows an African prince of the fake nation of Zamunda, Akeem (Eddy Murphy), and his journey to Queens, New York to find love. Coming 2 America features much of the same cast, as we see him and his wife years later with three children. The king is about to die and so Prince Akeem must get a son. He finds he has one illegitimately back in Queens, and so he sets out to find his new heir, and brings him back to Zamunda.
While the first film focused on Akeem’s journey in America, the sequel focuses on the beautiful nation of Zamunda. While this movie does celebrate and poke fun at Queens, the focus is on Zamunda. Similar to Black Panther, the film serves as a celebration of African communities, as it includes many beautiful and wholesome portrayals of fictionalized African customs, African clothing, and jewelry. There are few white people, and the cast is large, meaning that we see black characters with personalities beyond the stereotypes that are usually shown. But Coming 2 America isn’t about race. Instead it focuses on sexism and classism, and provides positive commentary about it.
This movie also stars some incredible talent. I was able to interview, with a number of other college students, writer and director Craig Brewer about the process of making this film. I brought up the question of what it was like to be working with so much great talent. He stated that it was difficult because of scheduling. For one actor Brewer had to fly from Georgia, where the film is shot, to New York, just to film his scenes. He was surprised though by the talent of actresses such as Leslie Jones. She takes a character that wasn’t going to have a ton of screen time and was able to make a standout performance of it.
The one issue this movie faces is that while it’s fun, there are few jokes where I was laughing out loud. It’s greatest strength is not in the jokes themselves, despite that it’s a comedy, but in its light, engaging tone. The dialogue is also campy. To some it may be endearing, in the way an old children’s movie might. However, it’s not the type of film you’d see at the Oscars, and it’s not trying to be.
Another thing I enjoyed was how they were able to include so many references to the first film. There are some scenes where you saw the perspectives of different characters from the first film. According to Brewer they put an extensive amount of time into recreating the sets from the first movie, and it shows.
Overall, this is a fun, wholesome movie that’s definitely worth the watch. A-.