Sequels often get a bad rep because of never living up to the expectations of the original, and sometimes insulting the name of the franchise. Often a sequel is not needed, an obvious cash grab to try and extend the franchise just a little longer in hopes of keeping interest. So tonight’s review is one of those cases where a sequel was not really needed, but nevertheless exists. I’m talking about the sequel to last year’s campy slasher/comedy Happy Death Day, a film that surprised me in how much fun I had. Will the second fill follow suit, or are we stuck in sequel limbo? Robbie K back with another review on:
Movie: Happy Death Day 2U (2019)
- Jessica Rothe
- Character Development
- New Twist
Summary: Happy Death Day was all about Tree’s journey to being a better person and the sequel is no exception as it dives more into the former sorority girl’s life. Rothe’s performance continues to amaze me as she brings Tree to life, expanding upon the character, as a good sequel does, and really bringing emotional twist to the mix. The second dive surprisingly brought some emotional punches into the fray and was very heartwarming (potentially tear jerking) in unexpected ways. Secondary characters get a little more time to develop as well, moving past the superficial stereotypes and somehow remaining relative and pertinent to the story.
Yet the movie isn’t just about the lovely Tree going on a soul-searching journey of … death, but rather trying to find ways to bring a new twist to and outdated genre and still keep to its rules. In regards to the story, Happy Death Day 2U manages to add a science fiction twist to the mix, that helps establish a new goal, story element, and connection to first film. While not quite the slasher tale, the added dimension helps the movie stand out and avoid feeling like a carbon copy of the original that was only a year or so ago. In addition, the comedy remains true to its gimmick of making you laugh as actors and writing blend together to become well-timed comedic antics. It works beautifully and adds a fun pace to the film that energizes it all over again to reinvigorate the series.
- Not as suspenseful
- The beginning gimmick
- Comedy a little overdone
Summary: The sequel’s two areas of improvement for me are going a little too far into the gimmick at the beginning and the overdone comedy. The new twist works, but at first it didn’t impress me in the odd presentation/rule bending it did. Fortunately, they were able to get a handle on it, but at the beginning the odd transition didn’t work outside of a messy transition. The other component that did not quite work for me, was a few moments where the comedy was forced on the audience, a little too drawn out or grandiose for my liking. They were minor ones, but limitations that took away from me.
I think the biggest limitation was how the suspense was taken away for me like the first one had. The slasher component is mostly gone alongside the mystery, leaving it a fun adventure but missing that darker edge that the film was famous for. Sure the humor got a little darker than anticipated, leading to some rather disturbing scenes, though these carried the attitude of the film. Yet, the prolonged bouts, the squeezed in extra obstacles, and the hasty wrap up led to some shortcuts being taken and decisions to put the movie more in a comedy sort of mood.
The verdict: Regardless of the twists, the movie still has the fun adventure that makes it one of my favorite comedies of the last few years. Rothe leads much of the fun, but the new twists, energy, and true to its roots presentation also help to make it a decent sequel that expands on the first film. Yes, it got a little carried away with the science fiction and comedy elements, leading to a diluted suspense factor. Still, it’s worth a check out into the theater for the fun movie of the weekend. Definitely check this one out in the near future.
My scores are:
Movie Overall: 7.0