The Amazon Original movie "Coming 2 America," which is an unnecessary sequel to the forgettable 1988 Eddie Murphy film Coming to America" aptly proves Murphy's Law. That theory is that anything that can wrong will go wrong.
Getting a sequel to the more successful (and entertaining) Murphy "Beverly Hills Cop" franchise would have been more exciting and (hopefully) more amusing. Fans would have loved seeing Murphy as a police "suit" now tormented in the same manner that he harassed his superiors back in the day. Alternatively, we could have gotten the titular Axerl Foley as a bounty hunter or a private investigator,
"2" follows the tried-and-rarely true pattern of sequels to "stranger in a strange land" movies. Murphy's African Prince Akeem, who spends much of the first film looking for a bride in the titular country, now lives in a beautiful house with his beautiful wife and their three daughters in his native land of Zamunda. Omma, the eldest offspring, would be line to inherit the throne if her reproductive organs were not on the inside.
History is repeating itself in the form of Omma facing an arranged marriage of inconvenience. The element of being doomed to repeat a forgotten past extend to the groom of the probable runaway bride being the son of General Izzi (Wesley Snipes), who is the not-so-benevolent ruler of the neighboring nation.
A solution presents itself in the form of Akeem learning that his adventures in Queens resulted in bastard son Lavelle (Jermaine Fowler). Akeem persuading the newly discovered fruit of his loins to move to Zamunda introduces a strong "Fresh Prince of Bel Air" vibe to "2" Homegirl/Baby Momma Mary (Leslie Jones) comes along in a failed attempt to contribute hilarity to this predictable and mostly humorous production.
History further repeats itself as Lavelle falls in love with the commoner who is charged with physically grooming his guy for the role that Akem is trying to prepare his to play.
Much of the fault of this lies within the stars. A surprisingly lackluster Murphy has none of the humor or energy on which his career is based.
Fowler deserves credit for not playing Lavelle as the homebody stereotype that is a big part of the persona of his leading man, but he does not get the audience to care about him any more than we care for the elderish statesman version of Akeem. The fact that the same was true in the original makes one wonder why they even bothered to make Murphy "Face the Music."
"2" further suffers from a lack of consistent tone. One does not know if Team Murphy is trying for a raucous comedy, a timely romcomdram about the caste system in a royal family, or even a musical extravaganza as the few bizarre Bollywood-style numbers indicate.
The big picture this time is that "2" shows that direct-to-VOD films essentially are one step above the broadcast network made-for-TV movies of the '70s and '80s. This is very apt as to this next chapter in a story that should have been left to collect dust on the shelf.