film reel image

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Friday, June 20, 2014

Think Like a Man Too 2014 * * Stars

Think Like a Man TooDirector: Tim Story
Year: 2014
Rated PG-13
Rating: * * Stars
Cast: Michael Ealy, Jerry Ferrara, Meagan Good, Regina Hall, Kevin Hart

Earlier this year, I was able to catch a trailer for Think Like a Man's heavily awaited sequel, Think Like a Man Too (the film I'm about to review). One thing I noticed was that at the end of the first flick, Jeremy's man child pot smoker (played by Entourage's Jerry Ferrara) and Kristen's controlling realtor (Gabrielle Union) were set to be engaged. Cut to 2014 and it's mama's boy Michael (Terrence J) and single mom Candace (Regina Hall) who decide to actually tie the knot. This is I guess, a small twist. Other than that, there aren't too many surprises in "Too," a sloppy sequel that although amusing at times, feels like it was literally put together on a short, bombastic weekend. You see, the original Think Like a Man made me a fan. Yeah it was a clear infomercial for a Steve Harvey book and it ended on sort of a predictable note. However, it had good chemistry between the cast members, a nice flow to it, and some solid comic relief courtesy of one Kevin Hart. With "Too," what seemed funny the first time around, now just comes off as goofy. And Hart for what it's worth, dives into his legendary part of Cedric here as if he's a spotted hyena on angel dust. Again, we're talking goofy and out of control, not necessarily funny.

Anyway, Think Like a Man Too's fault is that it doesn't really register as a sequel. Why? Because it doesn't provide any insight into what made the original work. It doesn't cater to anything Steve Harvey related (that was the main plot point) and tries to recreate the whole Hangover meets Bridesmaids vibe (and badly I might add). Yes, it's fun to catch up on all the characters and their relationships. However, every one's personalities come off as different this time around. Added to that, most of their roles are underdeveloped anyway so what does it even matter. Bottom line: all the players involved probably had a ton of fun making this surefire money grabber. As an audience member, I honestly didn't quite share the same sentiment.

Containing a host of cameos ranging from Floyd Mayweather, Jr. to Kelsey Grammer (rocking some serious hair plugs) to Drake to the smooth Dennis Haysbert, Think Like a Man Too I guess, picks up where the original left off. As mentioned earlier, one of the couples who reconciled from the first film (Michael and Candace), are getting married in Las Vegas. Everyone is geared up for their respective bachelor and bachelorette parties. What follows is a lot of boozing, trips to strip clubs, and even a stint in the county jail (every female character has messy hair and raccoon eye shadow for some reason). There's also a side plot involving Hart's character's mission to win forty thousand dollars playing blackjack Rain Man style (whatever). Like I mentioned in this first paragraph, Tim Story's direction is a cake walk. This exercise isn't so much a movie as it is a lazy blueprint for the characters to "spaz out" and act like they're off of Ritalin. Yes "Too" might rake in some serious dollars on opening weekend. But it's easy money as we the moviegoer, get duped into buying a $5-$10 dollar ticket.

What drove me nuts about "Too" was how all the couples featured, resolve their whimsical domestic situations without any real back story. None of them have much interaction during the proceedings anyway (too much late night debauchery with everyone's own gender). Therefore, when the big resolves come, "make-up break-up" stuff doesn't seem earned. In fact, along with Hart's relentless narration comes concluding scenes that reek of tired, soap opera stylings. And about the whole movie's setting being in Las Vegas. Well all I gotta say is, can't we give that blatant, familiar adage a long rest.

In conclusion, I loved Think Like a Man so much that I probably saw it a couple dozen times (no joke). With this sequel (that sadly leaves certain things open for yet another sequel), I don't plan on taking in one more viewing. Think Like a Man Too has a few laughs but ultimately stinks up the joint a bit "too" much. It's the equivalent of say Ghostbusters II or Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear (that can't be good). You know that old saying "whatever happens in Vegas stays in Vegas?" Well, this flick needs to "stay" far far away from the mind of a summer moviegoer.

Written by Jesse Burleson

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