Official Trailer for the Movie
ZUMUNDA is BACK!
Coming to an End
Okay so I was really looking forward to this movie as so many of us were especially given it was a sweet spot during the pandemic. They pushed it back and the anticipation grew. It had been so long since the original had come out. I'll admit I was not really old enough to recall the original and its release but my mom watched it and it regularly appeared on television my childhood I was convinced I saw it since its inception. To this very day I can recite the lines as if I was in the film or auditioning. So this sequel had a lot to live up to in my inner little kids eyes.
Well I was disappointed. I felt the movie was missing the organic elements that made the viewer feel like we were apart of watching something magical happening. It was forced. At times it felt they were hitting beats and instead of letting things unfold organically. At times it was rushed and therefore not a real development of chemistry or a love story that could compete with Akeem and Lisa. If you were looking for that type of magic you will be disappointed.
I will say the costumes were beautiful and I can tell it was done with great detail and there was an attempt to modernize Zumunda with the bling and backwards fitted caps, however, it took away from the element of the uniqueness of Zumundan culture. We heard a lot of talk of the laws etc however, I don't feel we knew anything more about Zumunda than the first movie.
I think the musical performances were excellent with Gladys Knight to Teyana Taylor and even Sexual Chocolate himself. However, I think this film has no parts of it that contained Iconic Moments which its predecessor was drenched in. I think the first movie didn't try to be funny it was funny. The second tried too hard to be funny. It was almost in times reminiscent of the chitlin circuit. I feel an opportunity was missed to bring us into the Zumundan culture and way of life.
Some of the characters were not true to their own self such as Akeem and Lisa or Semi. I don't know if it was lost about ensuring the movie was comedic but I longed for the wisdom of Akeem not the reminder of his weakness. Where was the Akeem who quoted Niche? Where was the Semi who not only got Akeem in trouble but wouldn't have backed down from a challenge from Akeem's daughters and in fact would have had daughters to battle Akeem's daughters?
Where was the Lisa who had shown great strength and conflict in the first movie? Who would never be a push over for any man? Where was the fire in her father's character? He would not have stood for the nonsense of the heir debacle as they were pushed aside. I won't even mention the inception of his son that which was intended to be funny was, no comment.
Moments worth remembering were the be loved scene with Lisa and Akeem which were in the second movie but felled to miss the magic of that moment. We were witnessing them falling in love and Akeem famously singing the song to the chagrin of the people living in the projects in Queens yelling at him to shut up. The sequel plays that song in a beautiful live orchestrated performance, but it lacked the dialogue to match.
We as an audience need to feel we were finding out about some untapped into world or we were being brought into a world few people knew about. If Akeem's son was learning about Zumunda for the first time he should have explored it in a way similar to his father. To get to know the people in his own way so we could better buy into his story which he should have had in his own right. I think his story was lost in the chaos and confusion of comedy, beats, and it made the story lost and a bit rushed. Maybe it would have been better if he would have had a rival of some sorts like a Darryl character who was arrogant could aid in the conflict.
I will say overall the musical elements were A+. The attire was A+ but the conflict and story fell flat. I would encourage people to watch if they want to see the remake and judge for yourself. Oh and the reason I entitled this Kibblez and Bites was a play on the fact that the son used Friskies cat food to tame a lion. And I things its representative of the rushed and butchering of a classic movie. You had flash backs and movements that reminded you of the iconic scenes and moments from the first movie but that was about it. This is just but my opinion.