Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Happy Death Day 2U - Movie Review

The Movie: Happy Death Day 2U

The Director: Christopher Landon

The Cast: Jessica Rothe, Israel Broussard, Phi Vu, Suraj Sharma, Sarah Yarkin, Rachel Matthews, Ruby Modine, Steve Zissis, Charles Aitken, Laura Clifton, Missy Yager, Jason Bayle,

The Story: Tree Gelbman discovers that dying over and over was surprisingly easier than the dangers that lie ahead.

The Review:
The first installment of this franchise was a super fun smash surprise hit featuring a knock out performance from Jessica Rothe in one of the best "Scream Queens" we've been given in a long time. Part two looks to recreate all of the fun from the first film while, in typical sequel fashion, taking everything to the next level and expanding the story in new and hopefully unexpected directions.

While Director Christopher Landon gives us a lot to like, there is also a fair amount of the movie that I felt was just a bit too silly and or convoluted. Sure the premise of the story sort of calls for that, but you also need to know where to pull back a little instead of trying to go extra in every frame. At times, some of the character interactions felt more like sitcom level quality and the humor was a bit cringe worthy here and there but nothing flat out horrible.

Jessica Rothe of course is back as Tree (yes that's her character's name) and she once again nails her performance in a way that is very Lucille Ball-esque. During a multiple suicide montage, she had the entire theater in tears from laughing so hard including myself. Seriously, the ways they come up with for Tree to kill herself (she has to die to reset the day she is stuck in so she can try to fix it) are very inventive and she tackles each one with about as much enthusiasm as you could put into something like that. Basically Tree is like, well I have to do this, might as well have fun!

The addition of science into the equation over what seemed like more of a paranormal event changed things up for all the characters and put an entirely new spin on the first movie as well. With that angle added in, the days repeating in different ways and more characters to keep track of, you really have to pay attention to what is going on. Tree also ends up in an alternate, parallel version of her life where everyone she knows is a little different which was quite clever but also added to the big pile of constant twists and turns,

The Verdict:
Happy Death Day 2U is a whole lot of fun and Jessica Rothe is amazing once again. Some of the additions, both story and character, are a bit questionable but overall there is enough here to keep the franchise going for at least one more installment.

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