So I know Coming 2 America came out this weekend and I had seem some reviews about it on social media. The ones I saw were quite mixed, so some were saying they found the film great, others found it really funny and many found it, rather unbearable. When I tweeted about it, people that I follow said they could barely watch it because it was quite cringe. So I decided to watch it for myself today, and share a quick review on it.
they deliberately tried to make it ‘Afro-fabulous’
Ok to be honest first and foremost the film was cringe. That is definitely not a stretchy judgement - but it did have it good parts and I don't want to take away from it too much. I think what is clear is that it depicts a very 'fictional' African country and this is no secret, so its important not to look on the film too critically, in my view. I'll start with the things I found cringe so that we can end on a positive note.
Bad accents and stereotypical personality traits – especially the ‘General Izzi’ character
There was a sort of 'witch doctor' character that I did not understand what contribution they were supposed to have – I guess he was supposed to be some sort of clairvoyant and was advising Prince Akeem (Eddie Murphy's character). It automatically connects what some people's idea of African royal lineage is, to traditional African religion - which is only relatively accurate.
I feel like traditional religion can be quite fetishized by some people in the diaspora. But what's really important to note, is that I feel like this film was not intended to be taken so seriously, so I think that's why they explored many different themes, just because they could.
Was more like a musical and definitely had some comedy value, depending on your humour. There was a lot of performances and singing breaks, which I am not so fond of but, its okay.
Following on from this, it felt more like a tribute to the original film because of the participation of many celebrity guests - for example, Michael Blackson, Eddie Murphy, En Vogue, Teyana Taylor and more.
Even though they stereotyped African people a lot just by accents, clothing, arts and in some cases music, and in my view they deliberately tried to make it ‘Afro-fabulous’. They also stereotyped African Americans too, in terms of their culture and some of the ignorance they depicted. For example the scene where Eddie Murphy comes to collect his son and then the Mother’s AA family are making comments and calling him "Kang" and the scene where the Prince of Zamunda reintroduces him as ‘Prince from Queens’ , his uncle who walks in with him tells the Africans “while you were out here riding elephants and chasing Tarzan” or for example the guys from the barbershop when they see Prince Akeem again and call him ‘Mufasa’ lol… needless to say, not all African Americans are this ignorant. I think it's simply included in the film to represent the origin of the sequel, where people early in the '90's from Queens, New York would probably have spoken like that. However, at the same time, those comments did make me cringe and I remember just thinking "this must be a joke – in the nicest way possible".
The moments I found *extremely cringe*
The scene where the elephant comes through and Prince Akeem Eddie Murphy is there shouting “Come through Baba, my friend, the great one” :/// makes it seem like Africans are out here worshipping elephants.
Why did they spell ‘Democracy’ like this? Ok.. (referring to the girl's armband in the below image).
The ‘ I Iike whatever you like’ scene was a bit forced. Especially when Teyana Taylor’s character said ‘but I am just a wife’ – CRINGE
Finally, Rick Ross’ accent
Things I did like:
I enjoyed the theme of a sibling rivalry between Lavelle and Mika the princess Meeka.
Cutting the whiskers of a lion as a rite of passage, very cliché again but still, was a funny touch
Started off corny but I did like the scene where he was about to have his manhood removed, but it ended up being a joke – definitely had some comedy value.
Even though this prince is promised to Bopoto Izzi (Teyana Taylor’s character), its clear he ends up falling in love with his hair barber, Mirembe, and he ends up marrying her, cant go wrong with a classic Love Story.
Was nice to see the old guys from the barbershop
Was nice that Davido got a cameo and performed his song 'Assurance'.
The costumes were on point too. Ruth E. Carter did a great job!
The film was very cliché and definitely reflects a fictional depiction of what African life is like. Everything is quite exaggerated. By the end of the film, I couldn't help but look at it like a link up film between American culture and African culture – not intended to educate anyone about their African ancestral lineage in any way, but definitely there to entertain, for the sake of celebrating an old classic. Also relevant in the use of music throughout the movie; featuring artists such as Megan Thee Stallion. At first the humour was cringe but after a while when I accepted that its just entertainment value and not supposed to be a great follow up to a classic film , the humour started to grow on me looool.
Overall a good feel-good movie. Would give is a 6.5/10!
You can watch the movie for FREE with Amazon Prime movies.
Thanks for reading!
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