Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Coming 2 America

(Amazon, 2021) I got really excited when this was announced, then I got nervous about what it was going to be, but ultimately this decades-later sequel was a very satisfying approach to revisiting a beloved classic. Almost everyone was back, there were an absurd amount of callbacks, and the new cast members were fine. Most importantly, what made so many people really love the original was seeing the opulence of Zamunda, an African country with riches and glory and pride and no references to corruption or political strife or colonial oppression. So to have 2/3 of this new movie just be majestic, excessive Zamundan parties with superstar performers and the film's MVP Ruth Page creating unbelievably magnificent costumes seems about right. Wakanda is cool, but you are not going to get a full Gladys Knight song in a Black Panther film (and the 70s/90s/current Afrobeat mix of performers/music was great). The actual coming to America part was underwhelming this time, but that said, if the whole movie was elderly Jewish Eddie and his old man friends in the barbershop jabbering on for two hours I would not have kvetched. In fact, while actual Eddie looks magnificent, I think he and Arsenio and that other guy were even better old men now that they have some age on them.

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