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Coming 2 America Movie Review - Tradition Gets Updated

Eddie Murphy film is colorful but predictable.

Reviewed by on Mar 04, 2021
Rating: 3 Star Rating

Kidzworld saw Coming 2 America the sequel to a classic 1988 film. It pushes girlpower, updating traditions and being true to your heart. The film is often funny, colorful but sometimes crude. Check our movie review!



In Coming 2 America, Prince Akeem (Eddie Murphy), who traveled to Queens, New York from the African country of Zamunda as a young man to find a bride, needs to return with his trusty aide Semmi (Arsenio Hall) when he learns that he has an unplanned son and heir conceived during that trip.

Akeem (Eddie Murphy) is now the kingAkeem is now the kingCourtesy of Amazon Studios

The young man’s name is Lavelle (Jermaine Fowler) and his mom Mary (Leslie Jones), now respectable, was once a “Ho”. Akeem has only daughters and, with war with a neighboring nation threatening, he plans to marry his boy to the daughter of warlord General Izzy (Wesley Snipes) to keep the peace. Eldest daughter Meeka (KiKi Lane) objects. She’s determined to break tradition and, one day, be queen!

Good Morning Zamunda!

In the African kingdom of Zamunda Akeem and wife queen Lisa (Shari Headey) are awakened by servants. It’s their 30th anniversary. Daughters Meeka, Ooma (Eddie’s daughter Bella Murphy) and tween Tinashe (Akiley Love) meet to celebrate at the country’s equivalent of McDonalds but the burgers are made of grass.. everyone tries to pretend they taste great. Meeka is to be married to an as yet undetermined suitor. She’d rather be queen one day but tradition says only boys can do that. She and sisters beat dad at martial arts. He’s both proud and a little sad that he’s not the powerful warrior he used to be.

Akeem (Eddie Murphy) practices martial arts with daughter Meeka (KiKi Layne)Akeem practices martial arts with daughter MeekaCourtesy of Amazon Studios


Soldiers from a neighboring nation arrive. They are headed by General Izzy who brings his sister left at the altar years ago by Akeem. She is nuts and barks like a dog. His son Idi (Rotimi) has proposed to Meeka. Akeem says that wedding won’t happen but, if it doesn’t, could be war. Izzy teases him about not having a son and heir. Dying King Jaffe (James Earl Jones) tells Akeem he does have an illegitimate son in Queens, New York. We have a flashback to the first film in which young Akeem with buddy Semmi prowled night clubs looking for the perfect woman. Akeem vaguely remembers he hooked up with Mary. Whoops! Akeem will have to go back to meet his son.

Akeem (Eddie Murphy) and best bud Semmi (Arsenio Hall)Akeem (Eddie Murphy) and best bud Semmi (Arsenio Hall)Courtesy of Amazon Studios

Funeral and Back to America

At his request, King Jaffe has a huge, spectacular funeral…. before he dies! There is lavish singing, dancing and Salt N Pepa and Gladys Knight perform.  Then it’s off to Queens in the royal jet for now king Akeem and Semmi.  Son Lavelle is trying to get a legit job but it’s no go so he goes to Madison Square Garden to scalp sports tickets. Akeem and Semmi, called Kunta Kinte and Ebola by old friends in a barbershop, are surprised to see the old neighborhood changed. Akeem spots Lavelle from a drawing of him and tells him he is his son and the heir to the throne of Zamunda. Lavelle takes Akeem and Semmi home where Akeem reconnects with Mary and Lavelle’s Uncle Reem (Tracy Morgan) who raised Lavelle. The family agrees to go to Zamunda.

Lavelle and mom Mary are thrilled to be in ZamundaLavelle and mom Mary are thrilled to be in ZamundaCourtesy of Amazon Studios

Home Again

Lisa is upset that Akeem never told her about the mom of his son. Mary rushes up and hugs her. The daughters are stand-offish to her and Lavelle as Mary shouts “We’re a blended family like the Kardashians!” . Meanwhile Izzy learns that Akeem has returned with a son. His son Idi won’t marry Meeka. After an awkward dinner, Akeem and Lisa talk about why Meeka can’t be queen one day.. it’s a stupid tradition that only men can rule. Akeem knows his daughter is capable. Lavelle gets the royal heir treatment and laps it all up. He meets Izzy’s very hot daughter Bopoto (Teyana Taylor) and thinks, why not marry her in a week? First he has to pass three princely tests.

General Izzy (Wesley Snipes) with hot daughter Bopoto (Teyana Taylor)General Izzy with hot daughter BopotoCourtesy of Amazon Studios

The Tests

When Lavelle learns he will have to cut some whiskers off a sleeping lion, he freaks. His ego is built up by pretty hairdresser Mirembe (Nomzamo Mbatha) to whom he is attracted. She tells him he doesn’t have to copy dad but walk his own path. Dad says he wants true love for Lavelle but maybe it’s not to be. Meeka and Lavelle reconcile and start working together to plan how to get the lion’s whiskers. It works! Lavelle has another very personal test then passes all. Mirembe is glad. The two talk movies and have a lot in common. She wants her own barbershop someday but knows, in Zamunda, women can’t own businesses. They kiss but she knows he has promised to marry Izzy’s daughter.

Lavelle meets pretty hairdresser MirembeLavelle meets pretty hairdresser MirembeCourtesy of Amazon Studios


Izzy’s daughter Bopoto is hot but has no personality. She would be a slave to Lavelle. He’d rather have Mirembe if she’d marry him. When he overhears dad Akeem being congratulated by Izzy for using his son like a pawn to keep the peace, Lavelle is upset. He takes his family and Mirembe back to Queens on the royal jet where he and Mirembe plan to wed. Akeem realizes that his boy ran off to America for true love….just like he did. Lisa actually misses fun Mary. Akeem realizes he has to go get his boy back for good this time. At home, Izzy’s men grab Meeka planning to hold her until Lavelle marries his daughter but she kicks the soldiers’ butts then, with her sisters’ help, Izzy is decked and is impressed!

Akeem (Eddie Murphy) and wife/queen Lisa (Shari Headley) are shocked that Lavelle has left the countryAkeem and wife/queen Lisa are shocked that Lavelle has left the countryCourtesy of Amazon Studios


Will Lavelle and Mirembe marry? Will the family return to Zamunda? Will Meeka be made the heir, thus breaking tradition? Will war between nations be prevented?

Stay on your couch for some funny outtakes over the movie credits at the end.

Wrapping Up

Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall still have a fun bromance chemistry and it is entertaining to see them back together (although you may never have seen the original Coming to America on video). The film’s story is predictable but several themes are current and worthy: Girls can rule a country as well as guys; you should be true to yourself and it’s wise to change old traditions if they no longer fit.

Mirembe (Nomzamo Mbatha)MirembeCourtesy of Amazon Studios

The movie is stuffed full of colorful costumes and singing, dancing music legends. It’s as if Murphy was determined not to leave anybody or any popular R&B song from the ‘80’s out. Many scenes are unnecessary, go on too long and could be cut (chatter with the old guys in the barbershop and a huge pre-death funeral for King Jaffe come to mind).

Leslie Jones of “Saturday Night Live” and the “Ghostbusters” remake cracks me up as feisty, crude Mary and Jermaine Fowler and KiKi Lane are fun as Lavelle and Meeka. It’s also a hoot to see some of the ‘80’s icons like Salt n Pepa and others do their thing. Some characters, especially the two younger daughters, are not developed and barely used. Odd since Ooma is played by Eddie Murphy’s daughter.

Queen Lisa and Lavelle's mom Mary head to a partyQueen Lisa and Lavelle's mom Mary head to a partyCourtesy of Amazon Studios

There are a few crude moments that border on too risqué for a PG-13 rating but, overall, parents who saw the first movie and teens should find the film, however flawed, to be funny and entertaining. We award three stars.

Coming 2 America Movie Rating: 3

Coming 2 America Movie Review - Tradition Gets Updated | Eddie MurphyCourtesy of Amazon Studios

See Coming 2 America on Prime Video starting March 5th