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Back to Zamunda

Explicit material and lack of noble characters spoil Coming 2 America

Quantrell D. Colbert/Paramount Pictures

Back to Zamunda
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In 1988, the film Coming to America had a noble side that seemed, to a less discerning college student like me, to redeem its R rating. The normally foul-mouthed Eddie Murphy played a delightful Prince Akeem from the fictional African country of Zamunda. To find true love, Akeem traveled to Queens, N.Y., where he laid aside his crown and took up a mop so his wealth would not sway his bride-to-be. (Murphy and co-star Arsenio Hall still expressed their raunchy brand of comedy through the other characters they portrayed.)

Amazon’s newly released sequel Coming 2 America reunites almost the entire original cast. The story is different, but not the lewd content. Akeem, now king of Zamunda and father of three girls, faces a hostile General Izzi (Wesley Snipes) from Nextdoria. Izzi will assassinate Akeem unless the two countries forge ties in a royal marriage. The problem is Akeem has no male heirs—or so he thinks, until he learns he conceived a son out of wedlock 30 years before. Akeem returns to Queens to bring Lavelle (Jermaine Fowler) to Zamunda to assume his royal role. Lavelle, his mother Mary, and Uncle Reem (Tracy Morgan), who all move into Zamunda’s royal palace, aren’t exactly royal-palace material. At an elegant meal, Mary asks why the mashed potatoes are black.

“It’s caviar,” Queen Lisa scoffs.

“You know,” Mary remarks, “our cousin’s named that.” The film picks up its racial humor where it left off in 1988.

With frequent suggestiveness and explicit language, Coming 2 America deserves stronger than its PG-13 rating. And as Lavelle doesn’t possess the original Akeem character’s decency, the film lacks any nobility that, at least for some viewers, might have redeemed it.

Bob Brown

Bob is a movie reviewer for WORLD. He is a World Journalism Institute graduate and works as a math professor. Bob resides with his wife, Lisa, and five kids in Bel Air, Md.



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