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Coming 2 America: But, Why?



Upon becoming a contributing writer for Atlanta Film and TV, I heavily contemplated the topic of my debut article. Would it be something witty? Thought-provoking? A deep dive into the entertainment industry, perhaps? I had several ideas locked and loaded, and I was ready to let my opinions fly. Then came the movie release of Coming 2 America and everything changed.





In full disclosure, Coming to America (the original) is my favorite movie, ever. I know the movie wasn’t groundbreaking, however, it was a fun novelty film that knew exactly what it was, and more importantly, what it wasn’t. And that’s what I loved about it. So, when news first broke of Coming 2 America, the sequel distinguishable by the number 2 in its title, I admit, I was filled with reservation. I’m sure we all can recall a movie we loved from our pasts only to have its memory ruined by an awful sequel. Nevertheless, I checked my bias at the door and agreed to give the movie a chance with no preconceived notions baked in.





Within the first few scenes, my brow involuntarily furrowed; it was more of a scowl, to be honest. I thought to myself, “What is this %@#?” Around the twenty-three-minute mark, and I’m certain of the time because I checked to see how much longer I had to be tormented, I paused the movie. I literally needed a break to escape whatever this was I’d subjected myself to. It was at that moment, my brain began mercilessly mocking my heart by asking, “You waited 30 years for this? You’re an idiot!”


To say this movie was a disappointment would be a grave understatement. I stated in the beginning of this piece that Coming to America (the original) holds a special place in my heart; by no means did I expect the sequel to be as endearing. I did, however, expect it to bear some semblance of a good movie. Sadly, it didn’t. Now… I don’t want to nitpick all the things I didn’t like about the film, which are many, so, instead, I’ll summarize my feelings by quoting the great American philosopher Randy Jackson from the TV show American Idol. “That’s gonna be a no from me, dawg.”





The Coming to America franchise missed its opportunity to release this film two decades ago. Waiting thirty years to release a sequel is asking a lot of a film—even for a franchise this beloved. In my opinion, this is a classic case of not knowing when to leave well enough alone.


Stay tuned for a conversation with Atlanta Film and TV on Clubhouse. "Coming 2 America: From A Screenwriter's Perspective," on Friday 3/12 @ 7 pm!

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15 Comments


Unknown member
Mar 11, 2021

I gotta agree ‘mostly’ with you Cam.

I wish COMING 2 AMERICA was much better.


I wish I could ignore the cringe areas (none that I’m going to tax my memory and list here).


But I fought through those and managed to enjoy this escape from the limited colors of the day-to-day entertainment we’re fed. And these times.

There are some movies I must see regardless of any reviews. This was one of them.

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Unknown member
Mar 10, 2021

The movie is most enjoyable with a crowd. The movie to me was never going to live up to the original especially in this climate, so it should be seen with expectations such as a movie like "Best Man Holiday".

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Please share your thoughts as Atlanta Film and TV discusses Coming 2 America from a Screenwriters perspective Friday 3/12 @ 7 pm on Clubhouse.

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Unknown member
Mar 10, 2021

I definitely enjoyed this movie, do I agree that there were a couple of scenes that should have made the cutting room floor....YES. But over all this movie was a breath of fresh air. Minimal profanity, no N word reference(that I recall at this moment) no overly sexualized content. I could watch this movie with my niece and Granny with no awkwardness. Not to mention the AMAZING fashion ❤❤

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Unknown member
Mar 10, 2021

In 1988, my mom and I went to see Coming to America. She fell in love with everything, from the different characters played by Murphy and Hall and the beauty of our people of all hues. As I prepared to watch it without her (died in 1989), I was anticipating the some of the same comedy and beauty. I did laugh and my eyes were delighted. Although the storyline was all over the place, it was worth the view, in “our” eyes.


  • LG

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Hi Lydia. We would love to hear your thoughts regarding the storyline and story development, as Atlanta Film and TV hosts a discussion on Coming 2 America from a Screenwriters perspective on Clubhouse Friday, 3/12 @ 7 pm You don't have to be a screenwriter to join.


Thanks.

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Unknown member
Mar 10, 2021

I have to say I was excited to see the sequel, but made sure not to get my hopes up too high. I enjoyed seeing the same actors from the original as well. I also remember two of the characters(the prince and hairstylist/wife) joking about how sequels never live up to the original. The irony from their comments was befitting of the movie.

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