As I said a few posts ago, I was SO excited about this, it's the happiest something has made me during the entire pandemic.
I didn't expect much, especially for a sequel, but I have to be honest - I did expect more, with 30 years in between.
In the end, I had to ask myself, "Did this sequel add to the original or could we have done without it, and perhaps did it even tarnish the original's legacy?"
Unfortunately, my answer was: "Although it didn't tarnish the original, we could've done without it."
Thus, I'm gonna give it, eh, 3 out of 5 stars - or a 4 out of 10.
Breaking it down ...
1. The dance numbers and surprise classic musical guests (like Gladys Knight, En Vogue, and Salt-N-Pepa) at the beginning, as well as Morgan Freeman presiding over the event.
2. Wesley Snipes as a neighboring country's African dictator.
(Especially his little dance at the end lol.)
3. The chemistry between Eddie Murphy and Shari Headley - we still adore them both.
4. I did smile and laugh out loud, at times, but mostly at jokes referring to the first one and how much things have changed, particularly technology, since the first one.
Walking down memory lane is always fun, though, and made me smile, so I won't be too hard on them about this :)
5. The costumes ...
... by legendary Academy-award-winning costume designer, Ruth E. Carter.
6. The hair, jewelry, and costumes worn by the always-elegant, Kiki Layne, proving how stunningly beautiful black women are :)
1. It was S-L-O-W, even if we were using 80s standards, and Eddie and Arsenio seemed very low energy/couldn't zing it like they used to (in fact, Eddie Murphy almost seems - chemically sedated, even in interviews?)
2. Tracy Morgan and Leslie Jones's genius comedic talents seemed restricted - I might even say wasted - in this film, because they were given very few funny lines, though we know they can, and could've helped with newer, updated material (except for Tracy/Uncle 'Reem during the "ZNN" interview versus Arsenio/Semmi).
3. Jermaine Fowler as Eddie Murphy's son was neither funny nor endearing - and that should've been a prerequisite.
I frankly didn't care what happened to him or his new relationship - neither he, nor his love interest, drew us in, like in the first.
(In fact, I wish comedian, Trevor Noah, had been chosen as Eddie's son, rather than portraying a "ZNN" correspondent - and we know he can lose the South African accent and throw down an American NYC accent at whim, if he needs to. Plus, with that boyish face, he looks about 10 years younger than he actually is!)
4. The script seemed to have obviously been rewritten too many times, and thus didn't flow well - thus, it appeared slopped together, rather than a sequel we've waited 30 years for.
5. The anti-Africa jokes by the barber shop trio were sometimes funny, and sometimes went too far.
As for all the fuss about being "too PC?"
Erm - Conservatives?
The original Coming to America was all about valuing women for their brains AND looks - that's the entire reason Prince Akeem (Eddie Murphy) came to America in the first place, disguised as a student and minimum-wage worker, to find an independent-minded, well-educated woman, as opposed to a subservient woman who "likes whatever he likes."
And hellloooo - the entire subtheme was what it was like living as a black person, working for minimum wage in Queens, versus wealthy whites (and even luckier middle-class blacks).
So if you missed that in the first one, and you felt "preached at by woke politics," then you obviously weren't paying attention in the first one - and it's not the movie subject matter that has changed - it's YOU that has changed - and NOT in a good way lol.
And if, on the other hand, you were actually offended by anything - again - did you even SEE the first one? LOL
Otherwise, it was a sequel - an entertaining walk down memory lane - nothing more, nothing less :/