Bringing you honest reviews of recent releases
Jessica Rothe – Tree Gelbman
Israel Broussard – Carter Davis
Ruby Modine – Lori
Phi Vu – Ryan
Rachel Matthews – Danielle
Suraj Sharma – Samar
Sarah Yarkin – Dre Morgan
Missy Yager – Julie Gelbman
Jason Bayle – David Gelbman
Charles Aitken – Gregory Butler
The cleverly titled Happy Death Day 2U is the conclusive instalment of murder victim Tree’s adventure. If you could call it that. And obviously I say cleverly titled with sheer sarcasm. Sort of tacky, isn’t it? But the main thing here is that the reason behind the continuous cycle of living the same day is finally made clear. Sadly the reasoning is a hell of a lot more scientific and philosophical than some viewers might anticipate, and this sequel is more about Tree trying to rectify the bizarre scenario rather than being caught up in it. That said, this movie oozes the same attitude as the first with Rothe – mouth hanging open – screaming at people as her character runs from one place to another to evade the baby-masked killer. She brings back the slick bitch you saw before and ensures non-stop entertainment, which is good seeing as Ryan (Vu) is as dull as arse.
Ryan is supposed to be something of a secondary protagonist (he’s experiencing what Tree did previously), but his appeal is nothing more than average. In fact, he is so plain he reminds me of a shit rapper on Britain’s Got Talent who gets buzzed off within the first twenty seconds of his performance. If only I had a buzzer by my cinema seat..
He is crucial to the plot though – technically it’s his fault Tree got trapped in a time loop and he has to help her fix the problem. So yes, Happy Death Day 2U may consist of that sassy style the first one did, but it is way more scientific as the pair get to work. The original characters are all still here too; Carter (the love interest who has a shocking revelation in store for Tree), Danielle (the friendly bitch who – during one scene – delivers a performance so poor I wondered if this was on purpose or down to the actress just being shit). And of course the people in the background – including Tim – whose daily lives seem to be on repeat. This movie’s winning streak is the anticipation surrounding its two leads and how it creates the tension. The director does good with ensuring early scenes act as a build-up by being dark yet witty, Ryan immediately propelling the story along as sinister action takes place within university walls. Happy Death Day 2U plays with its mystery aspect too:
who’s doing the killing this time now it’s Ryan caught in the loop?..
This is classic American cheese from the beginning; shiny sidewalks, tidy buildings and perfectly trimmed hedges to boot with distinctively dressed characters dotted around set. This is part of what makes it so damn watchable, it’s not a gritty drama made up of suits and shiny cars tearing up the streets. It’s pure and simple crazy fun.
However, where this movie takes a massive nosedive is when Tree takes the reins to solve a mystery that could answer everything about the time loop. And it gets boring. As mentioned above, the reasoning is scientific but results in some tediously drawn-out clips of Tree acting like a university lecturer. You see her scribbling equations on a big whiteboard, launching into detail about probabilities, all sorts.. so in actual fact it’s not happy death day to her, more ‘happy education’.
Somewhere amongst all this is Carter (the guy whose room she wakes up in) and Lori (her roomie from the first one), who take a backseat as a group of misfits fill the peer spotlight this time round. They are the classic so-stupid-they’re-NOT-funny, whereas some movie characters are quite entertaining the more dumb they play it. These lot are just plain irritating and make a cringeworthy watch. Points lost here.
Some reviews out there state that this instalment is ‘fun’ and make a point of mentioning the comedy aspect of it. I personally found it a disappointing sequel, regardless of how entertaining Rothe is. Its only saving grace is the fact it’s a horror film that gets looped up in parallel universes, which is something very different to many others that have come before. The idea is great, the film is not.
I went into the cinema wondering what it would be like..
..and exited having made a firm decision to not watch it again in future. Give it a bash, but do not hold out hope that it’ll blow you away.