'Think Like a Man Too:' More heart, less Hart, please

The Fresno BeeJune 18, 2014 

The nearly complete lack of laughs in "Think Like a Man Too" is reason enough to suggest that this production filmed in Las Vegas should have stayed in Las Vegas. What makes this waste of talent so much worse is that it's a sequel to such an endearing and funny film in the 2012 release "Think Like a Man."

The original offering was a rare cinematic work that touched your heart and the funny bone perfectly. The sequel trades all of that for a script that's so uninspired it takes continuous rants by Kevin Hart and a music video stuck in the middle to help fill the gaping comedy voids.

"Think Like a Man Too" brings together the same couples from the original film. This time, instead of focusing on the highs and lows of relationships, the group heads to Las Vegas for the wedding of Michael (Terrence Jenkins) and Candace (Regina Hall). Why Vegas? Who knows? Who cares?

As soon as the setting moves from the Southern California locale of the original movie to the Las Vegas strip, the sequel immediately turns into a cheap "Hangover" knockoff.

One of the biggest mistakes is that the men and women head in separate directions for bachelor and bachelorette parties. What made the original film so good was watching the interplay of these couples. Their rocky road to romance was a journey worth taking, especially the efforts by the characters played by Michael Ealy and Taraji P. Henson to connect.

That's all been replaced by uninspired antics. Watching Hart dance in his underwear or pick a fight in jail has all the humor of losing your life savings at blackjack.

Hart's not alone at dragging this movie into a dismal mess. Jenifer Lewis plays the mother of the groom who obviously doesn't think the bride is good enough for her son and makes every attempt to spoil the wedding and the bachelorette party. This kind of overbearing mother might have worked on a '70s sitcom, but in the 21st century it just plays mean.

Sequels generally disappoint. Rarely do they fail this completely, especially when both movies are the work of the same director (in this case, Tim Story) and writers (Keith Merryman and David A. Newman). It's as if they had never seen the first movie and just decided to use only enough energy to cobble together an unoriginal and disappointing tale.

The first film was so good any director looking to make a romantic comedy should watch it to understand the right way to handle the genre. Directors should watch "Think Like a Man Too" to see all of the pitfalls that can derail a sequel.

Movie review

"Think Like a Man Too," rated PG-13 for crude humor, language, partial nudity. Stars Kevin Hart, Michael Ealy, Terrence Jenkins, Taraji P. Henson, Reginal Hall. Directed by Tim Story. Running time: 106 minutes. Grade: D+

Theaters and times

 

TV and movie critic Rick Bentley can be reached at (559) 441-6355, rbentley@fresnobee.com or @RickBentley1 on Twitter.

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