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Coming 2 America

‘Coming 2 America’ is the sequel to the 1988 Eddie Murphy hit, almost similarly called ‘Coming to America’. It’s the occasional movie miracle Eddie Murphy creates, given how infrequently he makes sequels. He rarely makes any movies these days with any new ones something to note. When he wants, Murphy can give a fantastic performance although ‘Coming 2 America’ sees him slide into familiar territory. His comedic skills are still intact as this late in the day follow-up shows in outlandish style.

After his father dies, Prince Akeem (Eddie Murphy) becomes King of an African nation. Whilst he has three daughters, he doesn’t have a son to inherit the throne. Because of that, his position comes under threat from wicked General Izzi (Wesley Snipes). Learning he has a son in New York, from a liaison on his first visit, Akeem and his trusted aide Semmi (Arsenio Hall) travel to meet him. Friends old and new cause a multitude of mishaps for Akeem as he struggles to hold his kingdom together.

‘Coming 2 America’ is mostly what you’d expect from an Eddie Murphy flick. Sometimes, rude, occasionally crude with political correctness taking a holiday, ‘Coming 2 America’ is generally fun. If you go expecting Shakespeare then you’re not amongst its target audience as it goes from one ridiculous escapade to the next. Time has muted Murphy’s savage wit a little but it’s still there if you look for it. Craig Brewer does his best to direct proceedings and control Murphy’s excess with fair results.

The biggest plus ‘Coming 2 America’ has is its visuals. It looks like a live action comic-book, very glossy with lots of colour and movement. That’s almost enough to cover the predictable screenplay and occasional over-acting. There aren’t any deep messages, just dopey escapism and eye-rolling puns. It’s clever enough to make jokes at its expense with comments on sequels proving fortuitous.

There’s not much more that can be said about ‘Coming 2 America’. It’s a slice of harmless escapist hokum Murphy does well. With the long-delayed ‘Beverly Hills Cop 4’ apparently his next project, it’s good seeing Eddie Murphy back on screens with his brand of humour needed in these sometimes dark days.

Rating out of 10: 7

CURRENTLY STREAMING ON AMAZON PRIME

Greenland

‘Greenland’ proves disaster movies never go out of fashion. Back in its 1970s heyday it was a hugely popular genre. The box office dollars made saw plenty of imitators. The natural or human-made disasters befalling a group of thinly drawn characters drew in audiences. ‘Greenland’ serves up its own take with performances playing second fiddle to catastrophic calamity.

When fragments of a massive comet due to crash into Earth, humanity’s extinction awaits. The only chance of survival lies in a group of state of the art bunkers in Greenland. Among those desperate to reach this destination is John (Gerard Butler), his wife Allison (Morena Baccarin) and son Nathan (Roger Dale Floyd). As the world panics and gradually implodes, John races across the continent to protect his family at any cost.

A mix of spectacle and human drama, ‘Greenland’ mostly works. Whilst having lots of big budget CGI, the script is intent on showing how humanity reacts to such an event. The desperate and sometimes savage need to survive is starkly seen. These lend an air of reality, making you believe what’s happening in spite of many clichés in ‘Greenland’.

The cast do a reasonable job in conveying their character’s raw emotions. ‘Greenland’ won’t win any Oscars, but the stoic conviction they inject into their roles allows one to care about them. Although ‘Greenland’ often suffers from slow pacing and a padded out feel. A punchier sense of urgency would have made ‘Greenland’ more captivating rather than occasionally dull.

‘Greenland’ offers morbid fascination for those wanting to see Earth’s end. It’s uncertain whether that would be at the top of anyone’s ‘must see’ list but ‘Greenland’ gives yet another pointer in how the world may end. Hopefully the world’s ultimate fate is awhile off yet so that viewers can enjoy even more earth-destructing movies in the comfort of their lounge rooms.

Rating out of 10: 6

CURRENTLY STREAMING ON AMAZON PRIME