Coming 2 America: Did We Really Need This? – Amazon Prime Review

It’s a sequel to a classic thirty years later, but Bill and Ted 3, this ain’t.


It’s been 30 years since Prince Akeem Joffer (Eddie Murphy) traveled to Queens, New York, with his best friend Semmi (Arsenio Hall) to find his bride, Lisa (Shari Headley). His dying father, King Jaffe Joffer (James Earl Jones), reveals that when Akeem went to America, he was drugged and sexually assaulted by a woman named Mary Junson (Leslie Jones), resulting in a son named Lavelle (Jermaine Fowler). As Akeem becomes king, he is threatened by the ruler of the kingdom of Nexdoria, General Izzi (Wesley Snipes). Akeem travels to America to find Lavelle so that he can use him to broker peace with General Izzi, much to the chagrin of Akeem’s daughters Meeka, Omma, and Tinashe (KiKi Layne, Bella Murphy, and Akiley Love). Hijinks will ensue.

It’s not so good to be the king?


Coming to America is one of the funniest films I’ve ever seen. It’s a command performance by Eddie Murphy at the peak of his career, and that was a hell of a peak, combining with Arsenio Hall in roles that would seem impossible for most actors. The supporting cast in it was amazing, from James Earl Jones and Madge Sinclair as Akeem’s parents to John Amos and Louie Anderson as the staff of McDowell’s, one of the funniest joke ideas in the film. It’s a ridiculous premise that is played straight at all times and somehow still works on almost every level. Hell, I owned a t-shirt from the fake band Sexual Chocolate at one point. This movie holds up better than almost any 80s comedy, mostly because a lot of the humor is just timeless and the story of a person trying to buck stupid traditions is almost always relevant. 

These two were comedy gods at one point.

Unfortunately, there really was not much of a story left to tell after that one, which meant that this sequel had to come up with something out of whole cloth. While some films, like Bill and Ted 3, can find a way to make the time gap from the previous story into an element that makes it even more relevant, this film instead mostly undid the point of the last one. In this movie, Akeem has to essentially adopt Lavelle because he needs a son, as Zamundan law dictates that the throne can only pass patrilineally. Rather than just ignoring this as a stupid rule that has no place in the modern world, the same thing that he did in the original movie, we instead watch an entire film of Akeem apparently now being the same authority he rebelled against. I realize that this is not entirely inaccurate, as each generation tends to eventually be the power that the next one fights, but this movie makes it feel so forced that it seems ridiculous. 

His daughters are depicted as extremely competent, just to make it more blatant.

It’s even worse that it’s motivated by Wesley Snipes, who is depicted as the leader of an impoverished nation that might start a war with Zamunda. While I understand Akeem wanting to avoid bloodshed, it’s a ridiculous idea that a broke country could somehow beat what is stated to be one of the wealthiest nations in the world. When one country can afford an air force and the other can’t, the one without the air force doesn’t do well on the invasion. It makes Akeem, a guy who fought off a shotgun-wielding Sam Jackson with a mop, into a coward and an idiot.

This isn’t Simon Phoenix. This guy couldn’t take on the Salvation Army.

Another problem is that almost all of the actual funny parts of the movie are just retreads of jokes from the first film. For example, one of the most memorable jokes in the original is watching a world-weary and depressed Akeem stand in the bath, only to watch a beautiful naked woman emerge and state “the royal penis is clean.” It’s basically the perfect shot of a person living the life that others can only dream of but not being fulfilled. In this movie, they replicate it, but with Leslie Jones… and she is VERY fulfilled. It’s a funny joke, but it lacks any actual point. Sure, seeing the old Jewish man or the return of Sexual Chocolate feel great, but ultimately it’s just rehashing what was good then and not adding anything new. There are a few new bits that work, but they’re fewer than you want.

This reference is incredibly forced.

Also, it’s weird to me that they just skip over the part where Akeem was essentially drugged and raped by Mary and, to a lesser extent, Semmi. They basically treat it as a joke, as opposed to, you know, a f*cking crime. 

Overall, it’s just not a great sequel. Just watch the original again and be happy. 

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Netflix Review – Dolemite is My Name: The Making of a Masterpiece

Eddie Murphy, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Wesley Snipes, Keegan-Michael Key, and a host of others star in a story about the making of an amazing film.

SUMMARY (Spoiler-Free)

It’s the 1970s and singer/comedian Rudy Ray Moore (Eddie Murphy) is not having the career renaissance he’d been hoping for. However, after a homeless man named Ricco (Ron Cephas Jones) comes into the record store at which he works, Moore is inspired by the man’s ridiculous stories about a man named Dolemite. Moore adopts the name and turns it into a character with which he delivers a vulgar profanity-laden comedy routine. He manages to make a series of albums out of the character and goes on tour, achieving cult status. However, he eventually decides to make a film out of the character and, together with his partner Lady Reed (Da’Vine Joy Randolph), writer Jerry Jones (Keegan-Michael Key), and Actor/Director D’Urville Martin (Wesley Snipes), he makes the amazing movie Dolemite.

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Dolemite is his name, and f*cking motherf*ckers up is his game.


So, if you haven’t seen Dolemite, you should. I don’t care who you are. I don’t care what kind of movies your into. If you haven’t seen Dolemite, you need to go ahead and enrich your life. It’s on Amazon Prime right now. Then, you need to go ahead and watch the sequel, The Human Tornado, in order to see the infamous sex scene in which Dolemite’s manhood literally destroys a house. But first thing’s first: You need to watch this movie. 

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Yes, it takes place in the 70s, why do you ask?

Dolemite is a rare kind of a so-bad-its-good movie, but it’s not in the class of a film like The Room or Troll 2. You can watch Dolemite and get a perfect mix of legitimate and ironic enjoyment, because the movie is supposed to be a comedy that is shot like an action film. If you’re laughing, whether you’re laughing at it or with it, it’s working. It’s hard to tell where the film was failing at being legitimate or was succeeding in being a parody. This film seems to suggest it was a blend of lack of ability and a huge amount of talent.

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This is the original, and he calls someone a “Rat-soup eating motherf*cker.” It’s awesome.

Much like The Disaster Artist, this movie contains a lot of scenes that explain how certain things came into the film. While I don’t think that Eddie Murphy’s portrayal of Rudy Ray Moore is as spot-on as James Franco’s portrayal of Tommy Wiseau, Murphy manages to absolutely nail the timing of the comedy routines. Given that Murphy apparently did this because he and his late brother Charlie Murphy used to love listening to Moore’s albums, I’m guessing it’s because he had heard them all during his formative years. As a world-class comedian himself, it’s natural that he’d be able to figure out how all of the ridiculous inflections enhance the Dolemite character and make it his own. His version of Dolemite isn’t exactly Moore’s, but it’s damned good.

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Yeah, it’s pretty damned good. 

This movie is a true story of someone managing to get their big break at the risk of losing everything, and that’s really something that audiences love. What’s interesting is that this isn’t portrayed as being an endeavour by a comedian who is looking for the pure art of it. No, from the first part of the movie this is just the story of Moore’s attempt to become rich and famous. The honesty is somewhat refreshing, because a lot of movies try to portray famous people solely as passionate virtuosos sustained by their creative juices. In reality, even great artists usually sell out at some point, because… well, people gotta eat, man. Plus, if you believe in your art, you want fame, because that means people are actually seeing it. Does it sometimes ruin the “purity” of the art? Maybe if it causes the artist to compromise their vision, but most of the time even great art is done for the money. 

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How much art is in a movie with an all-girl army of Kung Fu Killers?… ALL OF THE ART!!

I really did enjoy the hell out of this movie. I’m not sure how accurate it is, and since they include a scene from the sequel in the film I am guessing “not very,” but I know that it tells a heck of a story. 

If you want to check out some more by the Joker on the Sofa, check out the 100 Greatest TV Episodes of All TimeCollection of TV EpisodesCollection of Movie Reviews, or the Joker on the Sofa Reviews.

If you enjoy these, please, like, share, tell your friends, like the Facebook page (, follow on Twitter @JokerOnTheSofa, and just generally give me a little bump. I’m not getting paid, but I like to get feedback.