It doesn’t look like the sequel Coming to America 2 is worried in the least bit about being politically correct with the release of its first teaser trailer—and that’s having viewers ROTFL.
In the trailer, which dropped this morning (Dec. 22), Akeem (Eddie Murphy) and Semmi (Arsenio Hall) return to Queens, New York, to find Akeem’s long-lost son who will assume the throne of Zamunda. When they make a trip to the neighborhood barber shop–where Akeem gets his tiny ponytail cut off in the original 1988 movie–the regular customers welcome them back with some hilarious name calling that pokes fun of the fact that back in the 1980s, no one batted an eye when Akeem was referred to as “Kunta Kinte” (the main character from the 1988 TV movie Roots).
Today, using the name “Kunta Kinte” to describe someone of African descent would definitely be frowned upon by studios not interested in capturing the same type of humor as the original movie–but Coming to America 2 doubles down on the references in the trailer by calling Akeem and Semmi “ebola,” “Blood Diamond,” “Nelson Mandela” and “Hotel Rwanda.” At one point, however, the barber (also played by Murphy) scolds one of his customers when he compares Akeem and Semmi to “those hungry babies with the flies on their face.”
The trailer starts off with what seems to be a homage to The Lion King, especially since Akeem’s father Jaffe Joffer (James Earl Jones, who also voices Mufasa from the Disney classic) narrates the opening sequence where he explains that Akeem and Semmi must return to America. “Oh, hell no, your Majesty,” Semmi exclaims when Akeem tells him to prepare the jet for a trip to NYC.
Other actors that show up to tease their returning and new characters are Shari Headley, who returns as Akeem’s queen Lisa McDowell, Leslie Jones (Ghostbusters), Tracy Morgan (TV’s The Last O.G.) and Wesley Snipes (Dolemite Is My Name), who plays a general with some impressive dance moves. Hopefully, in the upcoming full trailer, we’ll get to hear some of the vocal stylings of Randy Watson and Sexual Chocolate.