Thirty-two years after the culture shifting film Coming to America (1988) premiered, Zamunda is still a part of Black film history, displaying royalty in its highest capacity while delving deeper into traditions and a keen sense on how to bring generations together in the highly anticipated sequel, Coming 2 America 2.
The Coming 2 America movie featured Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, Tracy Morgan, Jermaine Fowler and Rotimi. Throughout the film, there were many prominent themes such as the unification of Black culture, women empowerment, and family dynamics in the Black community.
The film was shot mostly in Metro Atlanta, at rapper Rick Ross’s mansion and not only inside and outdoor scenes. The film was also shot at Tyler Perry’s Movie Studios. Producers counted on Georgia to create the sequel that took 30 years to return to screens. Scenes were focused on parts of metro Atlanta during the summer and fall of 2019 pre-pandemic. Like the original film, the costuming and design teams went all out. The film deserves an Oscar solely based on the costuming. This film has a very distinct feel to the original. Despite this film being from the humor to the outfits they are both unique. Even the placement of jewelry, the intricate crowns, gowns, and capes were precisely used in every scene in the film. Even the background cast are fully decked out in immaculate costuming.
Certain aspects of the film are remarkably interesting on paper but poorly executed to have more of an impact for example, In the first 15 min filmgoers learn that Prince Akeem has an estranged son that grew up on the streets of Brooklyn unbeknown to his knowledge. Prince Akeem then goes to bring his “son” back to Zamunda so he can be groomed to become king in the span of 15 minutes. It seems that plot points are too rushed throughout the movie. If the movie were longer, it would allow viewers to make a deeper connection with different characters portrayed. Because of this, the dynamic between Prince Akeem and his son is hard to invest into because of their wishy-washy relationship due to the lack of natural development as the film progresses.
Regardless of the poor story buildup, Eddie Murphy carries this film. He still has that same comedic energy he built his career from and translates it beautifully into the sequel. He manages to give the other younger actors more screen time while still bringing the same comedic powerless he has had his since the beginning of his career.