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Film / Coming 2 America

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Akeem: Prepare the royal jet. We are going back to America!
Semmi: Oh hell no, Your Majesty!

Coming 2 America is a 2021 comedy film and the long-awaited sequel to 1988's Coming to America. Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall reprise their roles as Prince Akeem Joffer and Semmi from the first film. The sequel is directed by Craig Brewer, who also worked with Murphy on Dolemite Is My Name.

When Akeem discovers he has a son named Lavelle (Jermaine Fowler) in America who he never knew about, he and his long-suffering best friend, Semmi, embark on another trip to the States to bring him home so Akeem can groom Lavelle to one day take his father's place as ruler of Zamunda.

Also reprising their roles from the first film are Shari Headley as Akeem's love interest turned Queen, Lisa McDowell; John Amos as Lisa's father and Akeem's former employer; and James Earl Jones as King Jaffe Joffer. New to the cast are Leslie Jones as Lavelle's mother; Tracy Morgan as Lavelle's uncle; KiKi Layne as Akeem and Lisa's eldest daughter; and Wesley Snipes as General Izzi, the older brother of Akeem's former bride-to-be Imani Izzi, and who also has plans to claim the throne for himself.

Originally intended to be released theatrically by Paramount Pictures, distribution rights were sold to Amazon Studios due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The film was released on March 5, 2021.

Previews: Trailer 1, Trailer 2.

The film contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Actor Allusion: There are mentions of Mufasa and Jedi as well as a parody of the "This is CNN" ident, all of which James Earl Jones provided voice work for.
  • Action Girl: Meeka, Omma, and Tinashe are skilled fighters who can take on much larger opponents with little issue.
  • Aesop Amnesia:
    • As demonstrated by General Izzi's daughter when she meets Lavelle, the Izzi family has not learned that training their women to be Extreme Doormats for their potential husbands only turns the men off.
    • King Jaffe insists on sticking with Zamundan tradition of only allowing men to rule, despite him previously changing tradition to allow Akeem to marry Lisa in the previous film. Though he was more or less coerced into doing so by Queen Aoleon, who has passed away by this point.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: After Akeem asks Cleo for advice about Lavelle running back to America because he needed advice from a father, Cleo asks Akeem "What do you think your mother would say now?"
  • Arranged Marriage: General Izzi offers his son as a husband to Akeem’s eldest daughter Meeka, but Akeem knows that Meeka won’t go for it. Then, when General Izzi hears that Akeem has brought his son Lavelle to Zamunda to become his heir, he comes back to the palace and offers his daughter, Bopoto, to Lavelle as a bride.
  • Balcony Wooing Scene: Akeem has a band perform an orchestral version of "to Be loved" for Lisa. While the scene takes place inside, it's shot like other entries of this trope, as she emerges from her room on the top of the stairway and looks over the balcony to see where the music was coming from.
  • Big Sleep: King Jaffe calmly closes his eyes as he passes away.
  • Black Comedy Rape: Akeem is revealed to have been intoxicated and coerced into an unwanted sexual encounter, but this is played for comedy.
  • Bland-Name Product: McDowell's is going strong, but still fighting to show that it's nothing like McDonald's. As in the first movie, it's lampshaded heavily.
    Cleo: The McDowell's menu is in no way infleunced by the McDonald's menu. They've got Egg McMuffins, we've got Egg McStuffins!
    • Cleo says that when they introduced the "McFlurby" they received cease-and-desist letters from McDonald's threatening copyright lawsuits. However the McFlurbys have the toppings on the bottom.
  • Blatant Lies: When telling Akeem of the night his son was conceived, Semmi assures him that he kept their identities secret. The flashback then immediately shows him outright telling Mary Junson and her friend that Akeem is a prince. Arguably this may be an Exact Words case because she thought that he was lying (but did not care).
  • Burger Fool:
    • 30 years later, Maurice is still working at McDowell's. Though serving the royal family probably has a lot more perks.
    • Akeem recalls his time working for Cleo and that he found mopping to be an enjoyable task because it was one with a definite purpose.
  • Call-Back: So many.
    • As with the first film, this one opens with the Paramount logo turning into the Zamundan landscape and the camera flying toward the palace before segueing into an elaborate wake up routine.
    • Lavelle applies for a job at Duke & Duke Digital, part of the Duke Brothers' rebuilt empire.
    • A box of Soul-Glo can be glimpsed in the barbershop.
    • Saul once again refers to Akeem as "Kunta Kinte."
    • General Izzi's daughter Bopoto acts much like Imani did in the first film, submitting to all of Lavelle's whims and saying that she likes whatever he likes. Her introduction to the royal family also kicks off with Oha once again breaking out into song.
    • While relaxing in the palace bath, Mary has a muscular servant clean her "royal privates". This calls back to the bath scene from the previous film, where one of Akeem's servants cleans his "royal penis".
    • When Semmi and the princesses take on General Izzi and his troopers, Semmi says to the General "Defend yourself, you sweat from a baboon's balls!" Just as he said to Akeem during their sparring match in the first film.
    • Randy Watson and his band Sexual Chocolate return to sing at the royal party, much to the chagrin of the barbers (except for Sweets, of course). As it turns out, Randy is Reem and Mary's cousin!
    • Fresh Peaches and Sugar Cube show up at the very end doing the same rap from the first film. Akeem and Semmi even reenact their surprised faces from when they first met the girls.
  • The Cameo:
    • Morgan Freeman is the narrator at King Jaffe's funeral.
    • Colin Jost plays Calvin Duke, the Duke Brothers' spoiled descendant who interviews Lavelle for a job.
    • Trevor Noah appears as Totatsi Bibinyana, the anchor of Zamunda News Network.
    • Dikembe Mutombo appears as a party guest, and naturally does his famous "No no no!" finger wag to one of the characters.
    • During the credits, John Legend appears to perform a rendition of Oha's song from the first movie, "She's Your Queen to Be".
  • Cassandra Truth: Mary thought Semmi was lying when he told her and her friend that Akeem was a prince from Africa. Needless to say, she's shocked when he turns up in the present day and it's confirmed to be true.
  • Celebrity Paradox: Clarence calls Akeem "Mufasa". Mufasa's original voice actor, James Earl Jones, reprises his role from the first Coming to America as King Joffer. Similarly Lavelle is referred to as a jedi, with Jones famously voicing Darth Vader.
  • Child by Rape: It's revealed that Akeem was drugged and had a unwanted sexual encounter, resulting in Lavelle.
  • Circumcision Angst: As part of Lavelle's final princely test, he is to be circumcised and his foreskin added to a collection of his forefathers'. However, Lavelle has already been circumcised and he's clearly not enthusiastic to have another go around. The ceremony turns out to be fake; it was really a Secret Test of Character—in this case, the courage to put his pride on the line to become Joffe royalty. Lavelle points out that the whisker-pulling test did a fine enough job of that.
  • Costume Porn: Since the majority of the film is spent in Zamunda’s royal palace, we’re treated to a near endless collection of beautiful outfits and elaborate hairstyles.
  • Dance Party Ending: As the end of the movie is a Wedding Finale, the reception acts as the ending sequence, including all of the cast shaking their butts off.
  • Defeat Equals Friendship: After Meeka hands him his ass, Izzi agrees to a new arrangement between Zamunda and Nextdooria that leads to friendlier relations between the two countries.
  • Demoted to Extra: Cleo pops in every once in a while to give out sage advice, but he's mostly running McDowell's for the whole movie.
  • Digital Deaging: Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall, who already look fantastic for their respective ages here (58 and 63 at the time of filming), are de-aged by about 30 years for a flashback that expands upon the club scene from the first film.
  • Doting Grandparent: Cleo is one, having created a McDowell's restaurant in Zamunda so he can be closer to his granddaughters and letting them give their input to the restaurant's menu items.
  • Double Standard Rape: Female on Male: It's explicitly shown that Akeem was intoxicated and unaware of what was happening when Mary had sex with him, which is date-rape. It's never talked about in this way though, and Mary is never called out for it and is befriended by most/all other characters. Further, this rape is referred to in dialog with gems such as "Your father's (i.e Akeem's) mistake".
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Zamunda's neighbor (as in the country next door) is called Nextdooria.
  • Exiled to the Couch: Lisa banishes Akeem from their bedroom as punishment for his bad behavior throughout the film, and especially the last straw of him shouting at her and expecting her to comply.
  • Fanservice: Many nubile African women and rippling men are shown at the royal palace.
  • Fish out of Water: Akeem tries to hail a Lyft as if it were a cab, only for the driver to point out that he'll have to use the app and that he'll be charged rush hour surge prices.
  • The "Fun" in "Funeral": King Jaffe's funeral, featuring live narration by Morgan Freeman and performances by En Vogue, Salt-N-Pepa, and Gladys Knight. It's such a massive celebration, the king starts the celebration while he's still alive to enjoy most of it!
  • Heir Club for Men: Part of the reason Akeem seeks out Lavelle is because Zamunda's laws dictate that only a male child can inherit the throne and he and Lisa only had daughters. Eventually Akeem decides to go against tradition and name his firstborn daughter Meeka his heir to the throne, while appointing Lavelle as the royal family's ambassador to America.
  • Hilarious Outtakes: Outtakes of the cast cracking up play over the end credits.
  • History Repeats:
    • Once again, the prince of Zamunda rejects his arranged bride from the Izzi family in favor of marrying a commoner.
    • Said prince of Zamunda also orders his Izzi arranged bride to do something so they can get away from her, and she takes it literally. Just as Imani was ordered to bark like a dog and hop on one leg, Bopoto is told to stand in one spot and not move, which she does for at least an hour.
  • Internal Deconstruction: The sequel serves as a deconstruction of the sexist elements of Zamunda's culture that were Played for Laughs in the first film. In a more specific example, it turns out that Imani's family is pissed that it was arranged for her to spend decades being groomed to be the perfect bride for the Akeem and the prince wound up rejecting her anyway.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Per the norm, Semmi is still kind of a prick at times but he's insanely loyal to Akeem and has no problem befriending people that may have antagonized him prior.
  • Kinder and Cleaner: This film is rated PG-13 instead of R like its predecessor, with no F-bombs or nudity at all.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: When Lavelle and Mirembe have a conversation about American cinema, Lavelle remarks, "What do we have besides superhero shit, remakes, and sequels to old movies nobody asked for?"
  • Left the Background Music On: When Lavelle walks into the throne room to present his uncle Reem to King Akeem, the scene appears to be set to blaring "Enter the badass" music, but it turns out to be coming from the Spotify app on Lavelle's phone.
  • Lighter and Softer: Though crass and risquè, this film takes a somewhat family-friendly approach. This film was rated PG-13 instead of R like its predecessor, with no nude Fanservice, much less profanity (the F-word is not used at all) and a strong emphasis on the importance of family and togetherness.
  • Logo Joke: Just like the original, the Paramount logo is flown over into Zamunda at the beginning of the Vanity Plates.
  • Offscreen Inertia: Played for Laughs: Imani, Akeem's original arranged bride from the first film, shows up still hopping on one leg and barking like a dog. It seems that Akeem never told her to stop.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: One has to hand it to them, cruel, racist bastards that they were, Randolph and Mortimer Duke were still able to rebuild their empire with nothing more than a few tens of thousands of dollars as seed money.
  • Pair the Spares: At the end of the film, Imani, upon being released from her royal decree, seems to get along with Semmi just fine and the pair dance together at Lavelle's wedding.
  • Posthumous Character: King Jaffe passes away of old age, allowing Akeem to become the new king of Zamunda. His memorial statue is shown several times after his death.
  • Previously on…: One that happens in the middle of the film. Mirembe recaps the events of the first film to Lavelle, complete with a clip montage.
  • Product Placement: Pepsi and McDonald's have their logos prominently displayed on screen. Meeka, meanwhile, spends most of the second half of the movie wearing Puma-branded clothing.
    Cleo: Pepsi, the official drink of McDowell's Zamunda!
  • Reboot Snark: Lavelle and Mirembe have a conversation about American cinema and Lavelle complains that all Hollywood makes these days is "superhero shit, remakes, and sequels to old movies nobody asked for." As a sequel to Coming to America made about thirty years later, this film, of course, falls into the third category.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Baba the Shaman and General Izzi, Imani's brother, are long acquainted with the Joffers but were never seen nor mentioned in the first Coming to America.
  • Revision: It's revealed that Akeem had a bastard son from a one-night stand in America, but it's done in a manner that doesn't outright contradict what was established in the earlier film. Semmi hooked Akeem up with a bar-hopping girl from Queens before they met Lisa, but Akeem was too drunk to remember and Semmi too embarassed to bring it up in 30 years. The only reason the prince even learns of it is because the royal witch doctor had a vision.
  • Self-Deprecation: At one point, Lavelle and Mirembe complain about how the only movies Hollywood makes nowadays aside from superhero films and remakes are Distant Sequels to decades old films. Even though this film fits in the latter category.
  • Sequel Escalation: In the first film, the introduction to Akeem's betrothed featured only Oha singing a capella as she walks toward the throne. In this film, the introduction to Lavelle's betrothed is full musical number featuring dozens of dancers.
    • The heart of the conflict in the first film centers entirely around star-crossed love causing family turmoil: besides a totally unrelated attempted holdup, the protagonists are never in any real physical peril. But in the sequel, the newly crowned King Akeem fears the ever present danger of General Izzi and his invading forces.
  • Sequel Non-Entity: Patrice McDowell is nowhere to be seen in this film nor do we find out what she's been up to these past 30 years since her father and sister moved to Zamunda. She does appear at the beginning in a photograph with Lisa from the 80s.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Snobs Vs Slobs: Lavelle's story arc sees him figuring out how to blend his lower-class upbringing with his new princely status.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome:
    • Due to Madge Sinclair's passing in 1995, Queen Aoleon is said to have passed away some time between the two films.
    • King Jaffe, being very old and sick, dies in the first few minutes of the film.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Semmi's reaction when Akeem tells him they're going back to Queens. However, once he sees the neighborhood is thriving now due to gentrification, he doesn't mind being back.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Cleo seems to have become a much warmer, compassionate person. Though he was never a mean guy to begin with, just extremely money-hungry.
  • Vague Age: Though Clarence is the only barber that looks older than he did in 1988, it’s unclear overall just how old the barbers are supposed to be, considering as a whole they've barely aged in the last thirty years. Unless they were all Younger Than They Looked in the first film—they should be dead by this point, or at least too old to still be doing their jobs.
  • Women Are Wiser: Discussed. When Akeem admits he wants to handle his problems the way he thinks his father would, Cleo tells him that he personally has always felt that Akeem's mother was the wiser of the two.
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: Izzi compliments Akeem for his handling of Lavelle, saying that he used the young man as a chess piece for political peace just like his father King Jaffe would. Hearing that only makes Akeem feel uneasy.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: A variation. Baba tells Akeem that unless he finds a suitable heir (a male), he will be assassinated in a week by Nexdorian operatives.