The phrase in this headline is not mine. It is, in fact, part of a dialogue that Lavelle Junson (Jermaine Fowler) and Mirembe (Nomzamo Mbatha) have, two of the new characters that it presents “A prince in New York”, In the film that premiered this Friday in Amazon Prime Video. Discussing the level of American cinema, they conclude that Hollywood has long had nothing to offer other than “heroes, adaptations and sequels of old movies that no one asked for.” This self-reflection is important because it is clear that both the scriptwriters and directors, as well as the public, know what we are up against when it comes to second parts, especially if we talk about yesterday’s blockbusters. But not for that reason “A prince in New York 2” ceases to be insipid.
Thirty-three years after the premiere of the first movie, Eddie Murphy Y Arsenio Hall They return to the fictional kingdom of Zamunda, where Prince Akeem (Murphy) is about to be crowned after the death of his father, King Jaffe Joffer (James Earl Jones), who reminds him before leaving that he has two dilemmas to resolve: a conflict war with Nextdoria, the town he snubbed to marry Lisa (Shari Headley) in the original film, and the lack of a male heir to the throne, as he has three female daughters.
To justify these dilemmas, the plot proposes the appearance of “a bastard son” of Prince Akeem, conceived in that remembered scene in which he goes out to find a girlfriend in a club in Queens, New York. In addition to this forced turn to the original script, the film proposes the return of all the characters that Eddie Murphy played in the late eighties: the barbershop grandparents, the Jewish Saúl, the singer Randy Watson, among others, but also characters as his ex-fiancée, Princess Imami (Vanessa Bell Calloway), who three decades later continues barking at the request of his interlocutors.
But the repetition is not only in the characters. The jokes revolve around the same thing and the story also revolves in the conflicts raised (and resolved) three decades ago. At times, more than a sequel, it seems like a ‘remake’ with the actors a little fatter and balder than in the original premiere. It is not surprising that the best moments of “A Prince in New York 2” are starring the characters that are not linked to the original installment: Leslie Jones, who plays the mother of the ‘bastard prince’, and Tracy Jordan, who is the boy’s uncle.
With them there is another cliché of comedy: that of contrast. The poor family of Queens who have to learn to behave at the table with the monarchs of this African kingdom (something that, for example, Murphy has already done in “The Nutty Professor”), but which proves to have more comic effectiveness than most of the elements proposed in this story.
The contrast is also effective again when the screenwriters (Barry W. Blaustein and David Sheffield, who wrote the 1980s libretto, joined by Kenya Barris, from the hilarious “Black-ish”) propose Akeem’s return to New York, to go rescue his son, who at one point in the film flees from Zamunda. The changes in the way of life in the city generate very funny scenes such as when the monarch cannot order a taxi because now everything is by APP or when he is almost run over by the scooters that have invaded the tracks and sidewalks of the world.
But, generally speaking, there is no major novelty in this sequel. When it was released in 1988, “A Prince in New York” represented an opportunity for Eddie Murphy to play a character, as he had become an icon of that decade with his first and last name on stand-up comedy shows loaded with machismo and homophobia of those who today deny. His foray into film had also been with characters that did not require further characterization (“48 hours” and “Beverly Hills Cop”). This film left several references for popular culture that still persist today. Come on even there is a Michael Jackson video reminiscent of the kingdom of Zamunda. The sequel leaves nothing.
The film by Craig Brewer, who assumes the direction that John Landis had in the first film, guarantees you some laughs, but beyond that it will be as forgettable as the fourth installment that Eddie Murphy just announced of his franchise “Beverly Hills Cop” . To paraphrase the characters of “A Prince in New York 2”: when will Hollywood understand that, if something went right the first time, it should not be ruined with a sequel.
Synopsis: Akeem and Semmi are back. Set in the lush kingdom of Zamunda, the newly crowned King Akeem (Eddie Murphy) and his loyal confidant, Semmi (Arsenio Hall), embark on a hilarious new adventure that takes them to the other side of the world, from their great African nation to the Queens neighborhood in New York, where it all began.
Director: Craig Brewer.
List: Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, Shari Headley, James Earl Jones, Leslie Jones, Wesley Snipes, Jermaine Fowler.
Duration: 1 hour and 48 minutes.
Gender: Comedy, sequels.
Similar movies: “A Prince in New York”, “The Nutty Professor”, “Dr. Doolitle “