Coming 2 America: Craig Brewer’s comedy has a hard time deciding if it is a sequel, a remake, an update; the plot lacks focus, as it never decides whose story it’s actually trying to tell. All that could be somewhat forgiven, however, if the film was funny; it’s not. The humour is outdated; other than a self-referential joke which barely registers, every other attempt misses the mark. Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall reprise most, if not all, of their roles from the original film, but they display neither the energy nor the flexibility to pull it off; poorly written characters, of course, won’t help the performers. Jermaine Fowler is likewise lost with a character that seems to have survived many reimaginings through time. The transformative make-up work (by Stacey Morris, Carla Farmer, and Michael Marino) is pretty good, but obviously nothing new. Ruth E. Carter’s Africa-inspired costumes are colorful, diverse, and frankly a bit absurd (which fits with this being a comedy, of course); the same could be said, to a slightly lesser degree, about production designer Jefferson Sage’s work.
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