Coming 2 America

Sequel/reunion does right by its roots

Prince (now King) Akeem (Eddie Murphy) of Zamunda and his trusted wingman Semmi (Arsenio Hall) once again travel to Queens to meet the son he never knew he had (Jermaine Fowler), spawned decades earlier during a drunken evening with a jolly hooker (SNL’s Leslie Jones, a scene-stealer).

This is no masterpiece, and it’s nowhere near as good as the 1988 original; but it’s not trying to be. As 33-years-later sequels go, you’d have to call it a success. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, the brief musical scenes are energetic and dynamic, and who knew Wesley Snipes had such comedic chops? I’ll be disappointed if the costume designer doesn’t get an Oscar nom. The makeup crew, too.

It sags a bit in the middle, as these things will, but there’s a steady stream of big-name cameos that keeps things lively when this happens. 

I found myself chuckling fairly steadily, punctuated by a guffaw here and there. Bottom line: an excellent quarantine flick. Now streaming in Japan on Amazon. (110 min)