Happy Death Day 2U - 2019
Director(s): Christopher Landon
Writer(s): Christopher Landon
Cinematography by: Toby Oliver
Editor(s): Ben Baudhuin
Cast: Jessica Rothe, Israel Broussard, Phi Vu, Suraj Sharma, Sarah Yarkin, Rachel Matthews, Ruby Modine, Charles Aitken and Steve Zissis
2017's Happy Death Day was an ok movie. It had a fun premise; slasher film stuck inside a time-loop, and a charming and talented lead in Jessica Rothe, that kept me engaged throughout. I did not think the movie needed a sequel, as the idea was somewhat fresh, that dipping into the same well, would make it lose its shine. But it made money, and that is the only qualifier for sequels at this point in Hollywood, so here we are. Let's talk about it.
The story centers around Tree (Rothe), a college student stuck once again in a time loop. This time around they expand more on the reasoning behind why the first loop occurred, and why she now finds herself trapped in it again. To stop the loop, she recruits the help of Ryan (Vu), the college roommate of Carter (Broussard), the love interest of the first, and his crew to help close this loop once and for all (unless this makes more money than the first one). I appreciated what Christopher Landon did with the story, as it took more of a sci-fi approach to the sequel, leaning away from the slasher angle. Sure, it still has a baby-masked killer on the loose, and Tree must figure out who it is and stop him/her, but it comes to a point where the killer is an afterthought. The film forgets about him for a good chunk of time and plays like a sci-fi comedy. With very little of both, as the comedy element never really hits, and the sci-fi is a retelling of countless movies that came before it, making this sequel a bit of a bore to walk through.
So by the time they decide to come back to the slasher element and give you the big reveal of who the killer is, the audience already forgot that they had to care at all. Since the film did long ago. The scene plays like a Scooby Doo bad guy reveal, and there is a "twist" that makes no sense at all, but you are ready for the film to end, so you just let it go.
Landon behind the camera does a good job once again, even though I wish they picked up on the errors of the first that bothered me, i.e., reliving the same sequences and no matter what they did, the things played out the same. Things should occur differently if the person is acting differently. If Tree takes three seconds more to talk or think, the sprinklers won't go off right as she walks by them, since she acted differently than the first time she went through the sequence. This qualm is more of a "me thing." The score this time around was intrusive, as it wanted to force emotions into mundane scenes. Though I did like the tributes to Back to the Future, both in the score and the speed of the car is going in one particular scene.
Happy Death Day 2U is not without its moments of entertainment, mainly thanks to the talents of Jessica Rothe - talents that I hope gets a lot more roles soon. However, I cannot help to feel that the sequel was unnecessary and underwhelming, even for someone that came in with low expectations. If you enjoy the first one, you will likely find some value out of your experience; if you did not enjoy the first, then you already knew how this was going to play out.
Happy Death Day 2U is a Streamer!
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