The Prince Seeks Son: the review of the sequel with Eddie Murphy

The Prince Seeks Son: the review of the sequel with Eddie Murphy

The Prince Seeks Son

A sequel awaited by many, it will reach the public directly in streaming on Amazon Prime Video with the new adventures of the famous Prince Akeem: The Prince Seeks Son, a sequel to the film by John Landis, which lands on March 5 on the platform. Behind the camera this time we find Craig Brewer who, while on the one hand he maintains the founding elements and the most famous gags of The Prince Search Wife that made us most passionate about comedy, on the other hand he brings a touch of modernity to the film: it will be Did the director manage, however, to make his sequel as valid as the previous chapter?

We saw The Prince Seeks Son, pleasantly struck by some aspects of the film but also a little perplexed by others: if you want to find out how the Akeem saga has stood the test of time, you just have to read our review.

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The king returns to Queens

In the new film directed by Craig Brewer and produced by Amazon Studios in collaboration with Paramount Pictures, we see the return of Prince Akeem (Eddie Murphy) and his trusty servant Semmi (Arsenio Hall), engaged in a new adventure that will soon bring them once again to Queens, New York. Akeem now lives in the lush and rich Zamunda, with his wife Lisa (Shari Headley) and their three daughters Meeka, Mirembe and Tinashe, reigning as prince; King Joffy Joffer (James Earl Jones), however, is about to leave him, old and ill, and therefore Akeem will soon become king of Zamunda.

Before this happens, King Joffer makes a disconcerting revelation to his son: Akeem has an illegitimate son, a boy, who lives in Queens and could be the legitimate heir to the throne, as the ancient Zamundan tradition dictates that does not foresee the installation of a woman on the throne.

Akeem meanwhile feels the weight of a possible alliance with the militarized kingdom of Nexdor, with his menacing general Izzi (Wesley Snipes) insisting on an arranged marriage between their respective children, on pain of a military attack against Zamunda. Akeem then flies to New York with Semmi, finding on their arrival a completely new city since their last visit thirty years earlier, although some things have not changed at all (remember the three quarrelsome barbers?). Here the prince of Zamunda finds his lost son, Lavelle Jones (Jermaine Fowler), revealing to him that he is the heir to the throne of the African kingdom: Lavelle then follows his father to Zamunda, together with his light-hearted family, in order to overcome the princely trials and prove to be the worthy successor of Akeem.

Between old traditions and modern solutions, comic situations and spectacular parties, family relationships put to the test and feelings of love that cannot be subjected to obsolete rules: Akeem will succeed to keep his Zamunda secure and give the kingdom the heir it deserves?

How to change

The film that hit the box office against all odds in 1988 is now a cult. There is little to discuss. The Prince Seeks A Wife (Coming 2 America the original title) by John Landis is one of those films that we would gladly watch every time they are broadcast on TV, without getting tired of the light-hearted gags and sometimes out of line characters that the protagonists play. However, when the sequel to this cult comedy was announced after about thirty years, feelings about it were mixed: at first welcomed, then we began to feel the sincere fear that a second chapter would not bring any benefit to a film. already complete as it is (and isn't that, after all, the same fear that many fans feel every time a sequel is announced?).

Craig Brewer's The Prince Seeks Son's vision has turned out however a pleasant surprise. John Landis thus passes the baton to the director, who works on the screenplay by Kenya Barris, Barry W. Blaustein and David Sheffield, but the previous work is not irremediably altered. Rather. The sequel in fact takes up some of the cornerstones of the comedy released in 1988 and makes them its own without making them stale or outdated: the gags and the goliardic characters under whose faces the multifaceted Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall are hiding; the journey (in this case of re-discovery) which highlights the most bizarre differences between Western and African cultures; the importance of deep and real feelings as opposed to imposed relationships without sincerity.

In The Prince Search Son we thus find the two historical protagonists in great shape and able to make people laugh again with their bizarre characters, welcoming back an Eddie Murphy she'd missed on screen for a long time. But also the main theme that made the first film so special: the true and profound love that can be nurtured for someone in spite of their respective social backgrounds and harsh and senseless conventions. A love of which Akeem's son Lavelle becomes the bearer (and, needless to say, heir). It is a way to compare two generations, not only by showing how society has changed externally, between smartphones, Uber and increasingly "digital" job positions. But also showing how its social actors move within it, through interpersonal relationships and hierarchies.

In this regard, The Prince Seeks Son earns another point in his favor by questioning precisely those hierarchies that they feel as necessary the presence at the top of only male figures. Times have changed, it is finally clear how much the role of women can be equally strong and authoritarian in positions of power, and in the specific figures of Lisa and her daughters we find precisely the elements of greatest innovation. Determined women who know exactly what they want and what is fairer, strong both in spirit and in physical constitution, able to stand up to those men who would like to impose their authority behind the aegis of obsolete laws that do not take into account inclusivity.

The Prince Seeks Son: a big party

The Prince Seeks Son by Brewer does not miss out on surprise cameos, quotes and easter eggs that the public will certainly appreciate. All this, on well-finished sets and undeniably well-made costumes that are highlighted by the bright and vibrant colors of the photograph. In this sense, the scenes of Il Principe Cerca Moglie are also appreciated, which from time to time are inserted to evoke flashbacks from the past, restored so much that the different video quality between the film of the 80s and the current one is almost not perceived and giving a sort of of narrative continuity especially useful for those new generations who had not yet approached John Landis' film.

Craig Brewer also stages spectacular choreography and energetic and cheerful musical moments, however these elements, which should play out enormously in favor of the film, they are sometimes a bit like a discordant note in the general staging of the comedy. Sometimes the film seems to be in fact a continuous and sumptuous party, a long series of spectacular events that seem to be made more to entertain the protagonists than to involve the audience in the joy of comedy. Songs and dances undoubtedly in a workmanlike manner but which on the whole, ultimately, are sometimes a bit caricatural and gratuitous, lowering the general level of the film a few notches.

Generally speaking Il Principe Search Son does his duty, without negatively affecting the predecessor title, although perhaps a little more effort could be made to achieve the full marks that The Prince Seeks Wife has gotten from the public. A comedy for families that in any case we recommend and of which you certainly will not regret.

From The Prince Search Wife, the Funko Pop! of Prince Akeem to collect: you can find it at the following link.

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