Before Wakanda and Prince T’Challa, we had the fictional country of Zamunda with its prince, Akeem Joffer, and Semi. There was no vibranium, but there was gold (lots of it), exotic wildlife, colorful attires, and that African party spirit.
Looking for love and hoping to find himself, prince Akeem and Semi took us on a hilarious journey. Their escapades in Queen, New York provided us with nostalgic joy of African diaspora, and his love for Lisa shaped my view of relationships (wahala for man wey no fit travel across country for me oh).
Coming 2 America was a way to revisit those nostalgic memories. How did the movie fare?
Playing a plot reversal, this sequel focuses on Akeem’s bastard son, Lavelle Junson. To honor his father’s dying wish, he sets out to Queens once more to locate and return this newfound son back to Zamunda.
At first, Lavelle rejects Akeem’s proposal to move to Zamunda. But a hilarious blunder from Semi causes him to change his mind rather quickly. With his mother in tow, they all journey back to Zamunda.
His first morning in Zamunda, Lavelle is greeted by three beautiful royal maidens ready to get the royal ahem clean. He faces hostility from his sister Meeka and learns he has to cut whiskers from lions (say whaaatttt??).
General Izzi makes a hilariously menacing comeback with a marriage proposal between his daughter, Bopoto, and Lavelle. And yes, his sister is still hoping on one foot and barking like a dog (omo x infinity).
Amidst all these intertwining storylines and archetypes, the film’s major focus is on girl power. Meeka’s fight scene with General Izzi (baby girl put that man on his back and said periodt) as well as Mirembe’s conversations with Lavelle highlights this.
If you watched the first Coming to America movie, you might enjoy some of the flashback elements in this movie. A major source of amusement for me was Wesley Snipes’ portrayal of General Izzi. The man knew his character was ridiculous and played that to perfection (his pimp walk was on point!).
Likewise, Ruth Carter outdid herself with the outfits in this movie. If you’re a fashion buff, the drip alone would suffice for a reason to watch the movie. I found myself drooling throughout.
But General Izzi’s stellar performance and Carter’s fashion is not enough to carry this movie. The humor seemed forced and borderline cliche. It leaves you wondering whether to cringe or laugh. Don’t get me wrong, there were notably funny scenes that had me bawling. But overall, Landis and Brewer may have played it to heavy on flashback humor.
Additionally, the girl power angle just seemed to fall flat. I know it wasn’t their intent to seem patronizing, but that’s the feel I got throughout the movie. Meeka’s great scene kept being interrupted by Lavelle’s marriage scene, and Mirembe’s dream wasn’t even properly fleshed out.
Overall, I’d give the movie a 2.5/5. And this is just becuse of Carter and Wesley honestly. The vibe after watching the movie was the same you’d get after going for your secondary school reunion. Fun, but skippable.
My OBO fans, there’s a nice bonus scene at the end with Davido performing live. Yes oh! Our own 30 million gang oga. Plus the soundtrack is populated with notable Nigerian music (Oluwa Burna pon this as well).
Feel free to comment below and let me know what you thought of the movie.