Coming 2 America is an enjoyable watch, but it skips the opportunities for to address more solemn themes.
Coming 2 America Synopsis
In the face of his father’s imminent passing and military threat from neighbouring Nexdori, a frightening secret is revealed to Akeem. Not only is Lisa McDowell not Akeem’s only woman, a drunken tryst arranged by Semmi 30 year ago also resulted in a son. Worse, with no other sons who could be his legal heir under Zamunda law, Akeem has no choice but to return to America to retrieve his boy. Needless to say, Lavelle i.e Akeem’s streetwise illegitimate son is hardly ready to embrace the restrictions that come with African royalty.
If memory serves me right, I watched Coming to America with my parents at a cinema in Bedok Central. (Probably the now-demolished Changi Cinema)
It was a Saturday family excursion; one that I much looked forward to. In the end, we didn’t get great seats, though. Can’t exactly remember but it was something like the sixth or seventh row from the front.
As for the show, well, I enjoyed the raucous nonsense. The glitzy comedy was also my first proper cinematic introduction to Afro-American talk and humour. Funny thing though, I never once searched for clips of it in today’s age of YouTube. I guess as much as I enjoyed the gags back then, they feel terribly outdated in this age. On top of being racially questionable.
Mentioning the above for my viewing experience of Coming 2 America is curiously similar. I haven’t been feeling well since last week so I didn’t watch this sequel on Amazon Prime under the best of conditions. Guffawed several times as I did, most humorous scenes lacked any real impact too; I doubt I’d remember any after a few months.
Frankly, many laughs depended on nostalgia too. You wouldn’t find them funny without watching the first movie.
As for the story, hmm, I guess the premise is a sensible and logical continuation, as far as a cinematic sequel is concerned. That said, it’s starkly obvious that nothing was intended to venture beyond skin deep. Themes of patriarchal injustice and cultural/generation conflicts are but meant as embellishments.
Here’s a question I considered after finishing. Would a longer run, with less gags and more of Meeka’s frustrations, or Akeem’s kingly dilemmas, etc, make for a more memorable show?
I think it would. It would be a less funny show for sure, but it would be a more meaningful sequel. Regrettably, this was not an objective sought.
By the way, although I wouldn’t be able to describe any beforehand, all clips of the ’88 hit included into this sequel immediately triggered my memory. I guess the first movie left a deeper impact on me than I realized, or care to admit.
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