Before Wakanda, there was Zamunda. A different kind of fictional African nation but no less fascinating and entertaining. It’s where we first met Prince Akeem (Eddie Murphy) and his half-brother Semmi (Arsenio Hall) in “Coming to America” all the way back in 1988.
The pair travel to Queens so Akeem can find his, well, Queen. He meets Lisa McDowell (Shari Headly) and ultimately they fall in love.
The film became an instant classic with highly quotable lines like “Good morning, my neighbors!” And just try to get “Sexual Chocolate” and “Let Your Soul Glooowww” out of your head.
Now 33 years later, Murphy and Hall are reprising their roles in “Coming 2 America.” The sequel picks up with Prince Akeem settled into a happy life with Lisa by his side and their three daughters. The only problem? None of them can be his heir according to Zamunda tradition. It seems like tradition is about to be broken until King Jaffe Joffer (James Earl Jones) reveals Akeem actually has an heir in...you guessed it...Queens!
The story unfolds as Akeem and Semmi search for the heir and we meet a whole new cast of characters. Jermain Fowler plays Akeem’s son Lavelle and Leslie Jones is hilarious as his mom, Mary Junson. Tracy Morgan brings his wonderful energy to Uncle Reem as Lavelle’s protective uncle.
And fans will be delighted to see the return of classic favorites like Randy Watson (see: Sexual Chocolate) and Clarence, both played by Murphy. And Reverend Brown (“If lovin’ the Lord is wrong, I don’t wanna be right!”) played by Arsenio Hall.
Ultimately, not unlike the original, “Coming 2 America” is about finding true love, and loyalty to family. And, also not unlike the original, it’s surrounded by the talents of two legendary comedians and friends who remind us, "No journey is too great when one finds what he seeks."
The “Coming 2 America” journey premieres March 5 on Amazon Prime Video. It was written by Kenya Barris, Barry W. Blaustein, David Sheffield, and directed by Craig Brewer. It also stars Wesley Snipes, Garcelle Beauvais, John Amos, Louis Anderson, and Bella Murphy.