Comedian Eddie Murphy Coming To America, Plus the Showtime Boxes

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A lot has changed from the Africa Hollywood star and comedian Eddie Murphy knew over three decades ago to now. The continent now boasts many creative talents in music, fashion and movie and the culture embraced by many. Thus the challenge for Murphy and his production crew within the sequel of his 1988 film ‘Coming to America’ was to reimagine Africa in its new glory.

To an extent, the SNL alumnus achieved that with the help of the director Craig Brewer, if not a bit exaggerated. ‘Coming 2 America’ which premieres today on Amazon Prime Video will see an enormous version of Zamunda, the fictional African kingdom, with more dances, fashion and music. Hollywood celebrity costume designer Ruth E. Carter (Black Panther) employed the talents of African fashion designers like Nigerian Ikiré Jones and South African designers Palesa Mokubung of the label Mantsho and Ladumo Ngxolo of the label MaXhosa to focus on the continent’s vibrant vogue. For choreography, the cast discovered the ropes of dancing from the long-lasting choreographer Fatima Robinson. For music, Nigerian artistes like Tekno, Larry Gaaga and Tiwa Savage who’re signed to Universal Music Nigeria lent their vocals on the soundtrack while Davido performed within the film. There were additional performances from the funky hip-hop lady group Salt N Pepa, and Gladys Knight.

However in its pursuit to represent Africa in all its glory, the movie loses itself. Even with a stellar cast that includes veteran actors Morgan Freeman, Wesley Snipes, Tracey Morgan and Leslie Jones in addition to newbies Nomzamo Mbatha, Rotimi, Bella Murphy, and Jermaine Fowler, the movie hardly hit home.

Now a king, Murphy reprises his role as Akeem and embarks on a journey back to America alongside his friend and aide Semmi (Arsenio Hall). This time, he’s not looking for an intelligent girl to marry but a lost son. His son’s existence was solely brought to his knowledge by his father, King Jaffe Joffer whose dying wish was for him to find an heir to the throne since Akeem was solely blessed with three daughters. Lavelle (Fowler), his avenue-savvy Queens boy, will arrive with his mother (Jones) to Zamunda to learn about his identity and tradition of the African kingdom.

At the heart of the movie is a story about identification and women empowerment however these themes are not that punchy as expected. Rather, the movie is sprinkled with comedic theatrics comparable to Snipes’ General Izzi character and his caricature dance entrance, the one-liners from Jones, and the hilarious witch doctor played by Hall.

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However in its pursuit to represent Africa in all its glory, the movie loses itself. Even with a stellar cast that includes veteran actors Morgan Freeman, Wesley Snipes, Tracey Morgan and Leslie Jones in addition to newbies Nomzamo Mbatha, Rotimi, Bella Murphy, and Jermaine Fowler, the movie hardly hit home.

Now a king, Murphy reprises his role as Akeem and embarks on a journey back to America alongside his friend and aide Semmi (Arsenio Hall). This time, he’s not looking for an intelligent girl to marry but a lost son. His son’s existence was solely brought to his knowledge by his father, King Jaffe Joffer whose dying wish was for him to find an heir to the throne since Akeem was solely blessed with three daughters. Lavelle (Fowler), his avenue-savvy Queens boy, will arrive with his mother (Jones) to Zamunda to learn about his identity and tradition of the African kingdom.

At the heart of the movie is a story about identification and women empowerment however these themes are not that punchy as expected. Rather, the movie is sprinkled with comedic theatrics comparable to Snipes’ General Izzi character and his caricature dance entrance, the one-liners from Jones, and the hilarious witch doctor played by Hall.

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