Think Like a Man Too doesn’t match original charmer
If the 2012 hit Think Like a Man was the hard-working, funny, but smart look at relationships, its sequel, Think Like a Man Too is its hard-partying weekend equivalent that’s less concerned about making you think and more about just giving you a good time.
The original was a smart battle of the sexes comedy where the men and women constantly fought to gain the upper hand in the game of love. This time, there’s little strategy involved and it’s more a typical Vegas party movie.
To the cast’s credit, the film is still a lot of fun, even if it’s lacking much of the depth that made the original such a hit and earned a rare romantic comedy sequel.
Michael (Terrence Jenkins) and Candace (Regina Hall, About Last Night) are getting married in Vegas so the whole gang flies out for the fun and festivities. Cedric (Kevin Hart, Grudge Match) assumes best man responsibilities and his goal is to ensure the guys have more fun than the girls.
Initially that seems easy enough once Michael’s overbearing mother, Loretta (Jenifer Lewis), plots out every moment of the bachelorette party, but the ‘competition’ soon gets a lot more interesting.
Since the first film, Hart’s stock has dramatically soared with supporting roles in two films and starring roles in two other 2014 movies.
The understandably biggest temptation for returning screenwriters Keith Merryman and David A. Newman then was to double up on the Hart scenes as there’s no hotter actor/comedian in Hollywood right now.
While sensible, it upsets the delicate ensemble balance of its predecessor and veers too often into The Kevin Hart Show forcing the other subplots to fight for scrap screen time.
Jeremy (Jerry Ferrara) and Kristen (Gabrielle Union) are trying to have a baby; Zeke (Romany Malco) and Mya (Meagan Good) are contemplating their next step as a couple; Dominic (Michael Ealy) and Lauren (Taraji P. Henson) are striving to find the right balance between career growth and relationship development while Michael and Candace are still dealing with Loretta.
Bennett (Gary Owen) is back and he’s brought his wife, Tish, (Wendi McLendon-Covey, Bridesmaids) along for the fun as well. Not to mention Mya’s friend, Sonia (La La Anthony), and Michael’s college buddies Isaac (Adam Brody) and Terrell (David Walton) who don’t get a lot to do beyond sit around and toss out an occasional joke.
While the majority of Hart’s scenes are funny, he’s not doing anything different from other roles. Limiting his screen time would have tremendously benefited his co-stars who don’t have seven more films lined up in the next two years.
The subplots are underdeveloped mainly because the couples are split up early on in the film restricting the give and take that worked so well in the first one. Then they’re reunited in time to neatly tie the subplots up for the conclusion, which don’t feel as hard-earned as they did in the first film.
And yet, Director Tim Story is able to so easily tap into his performers’ natural charisma and likability, it’s easy to look past the flaws and just enjoy spending more time with the gang. Think Like a Man Too isn’t a perfect sequel, but its cast makes up for most of the issues.
Rating: 7 out of 10
Photo Credit: Matt Kennedy/Screen Gems