Happy Death Day 2U (2019)
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The movie choosing to change things up was the biggest surprise but the wonderful development of the characters was just as impressive. Tree's development into being a better person was a highlight of the original Happy Death Day, it added an interesting dynamic to the story. Tree continues to grow (no pun intended) and I have to hand it to writer/director Christopher Landon for developing the characters further with new aspects without just repeating the same arc. With Tree facing the same scenario but with many changes, the characters are the same yet completely different and it keeps things intriguing. While 2U was funny there were also some emotional moments that were very heartfelt. I liked how the original included the evolution of Tree's relationship with her dad, they double down on that in this one with the surprise inclusion of someone from Tree's past. The genuine joy that comes out of that realization for Tree and the pain that it causes later had a lot of pathos that you wouldn't expect from this type of movie
Jessica Rothe's second performance as Tree is a fantastic work. 2U requires so much varied work from her doing physical comedy to involving drama and she pulls it off handily. She's outstanding here and I really hope she's on her way to bigger things because this is a great follow up performance. Almost the entire supporting cast returns and they all perform capably. Rothe and Israel Broussard still have a lot of chemistry as Tree and Carter, and their relationship has some sweet moments scattered throughout. I liked that they gave both Rachel Matthews and Ruby Modine different things to do as Danielle and Lori. They both were fun to watch. I also thought Phi Vu was better utilized in this movie as Ryan, it was cool that they took a minor character from the first one and expanded on his part. Vu's performance helped make that a solid choice.
I'm sure plenty of people will be complaining about the genre shift and tonal change from the first entry in this potential franchise and while I did have to adjust but it didn't bother me. I only had a few complaints when it comes to this movie. Just like the first one, they border on having too many twists when they're wrapping up. I liked all of them but the movie wants to bring a lot of new elements in at the end and the final 15 minutes feels a little overstuffed. They also jam some of the more juvenile bits of humour in the very beginning and the very end of the movie that can feel a little out of place tonally.
I was a huge fan of the first Happy Death Day and if you made me pick I still think the first one is a better stand alone film. But Happy Death Day 2U is wildly creative, the script is really sharp and Jessica Rothe proves how wonderfully versatile she is in another great lead performance. People always complain about sequels just being carbon copies of the original or that the plot is recycled or how originality in movies is dead. I was blown away by how Landon and his team were unafraid to blaze a different path with the continuation of this potential franchise and give the audience something fresh to chew on. If you're stuck on having another slasher movie, this might not be your cup of tea but I can't recommend this highly enough. If you enjoyed the first one and can keep an open mind, go see Happy Death Day 2U.
Another issue is this isn't a horror movie. There may be a couple short scenes that lend themselves to horror, but this is much more so a sci-fi story, a far cry from what we started with in the first movie. Also, the movie reaches a satisfying ending place, but then decides to not end there and throws in a ridiculous "heist" movie at the end. Why not? We're already watching a horror-comedy-scifi-romcom?
Now, it's not all bad. The movie does keep moving at a steady pace and most of the characters are entertaining (even if they aren't particularly engaging). The sub-plot about Tree's mom feels genuinely heart-felt and gives the movie a little emotional weight. There's plenty of decent laughs throughout. And, as in the first film, Jessica Rothe seems to be having a ball in the lead role. There's also a mid-credits scene to suggest we're gonna expand this universe even more. And while I'll welcome a third movie in this fun franchise, I wish the writers would understand that more isn't necessarily better. Sometimes keeping it simple is best. 6/10
So the new sci-fi/time travel direction that this film takes, with a good dose of humor and heartfelt moments, surprisingly worked for me and maybe it's because I didn't see it coming. It's not perfect, I would give it an 8.5/10 if I could. The ending was a bit much but overall it was a really fun and enjoyable movie, better than the first in my opinion. I'd highly recommend checking it out, especially if you're a fan of the first. (Unless you are looking for a more serious slasher film, in that case, I think you'll be disappointed.)
Curious to see what Happy Death Day 3 will be like and if it will have yet another new tone different from the first two movies.
Happy Death Day - Slasher/Comedy Happy Death Day 2U - Sci-fi/Comedy/Drama Happy Death Day 3 - ???
A hot mess of a movie for the most part, the chaos that unfolds is reasonably fun for a while despite the preposterous story developments. Unfortunately, the repetitive nature of the plot eventually takes its toll, and the final act really labours the point, taking its merry time to wrap up proceedings in a not too tidy fashion. The cast are fine and do what they can with the material, but the slapdash script and seemingly random approach taken by director Christopher Landon ultimately makes for a disappointing sequel.
Still, Happy Death Day 2 U is so silly at times that I can see it gathering a cult following, even though, if truth be told, it's not all that good.
The actors make these movie-especially the lead actress. The cast are believable in an unbelievable setting and blend well together.
It's a fun popcorn movie for sure.
But no. Despite having even lower expectations than with the first film, I was offered a fun movie with bunch of good humor and nifty twists. Jessica Rothe does excellent job playing Tree Gelbman and once again I found myself rooting for her, just like in the first movie.
This movie has good chemistry - and the best part being they didn't just make the first film all over again. I'm really happy I saw this and hope that every sequel could be even half as well done as this was.
This movie is... bonkers.
As we start, we get a different person caught in a time loop. Then it turns out that he has a duplicate. Somehow, an effort to fix that problem results in Tree being swapped into a parallel reality where her mother is still alive, but she doesn't have her boyfriend. The boyfriend is now coupled with an annoying sorority friend of hers.
A lot of that comes out within the first 20 minutes.
I was much more happy with this movie than I expected, for a few different reasons. It doesn't try to spend too much time recapping the first movie. It goes through everything of importance in probably less than a minute. It doesn't try to replicate the plot of the first one, with the exception that she wants to find a way to end the loop. It embraces the absurdity of everything. This movie stretches the genre much further than expected.
The first movie also wasn't much of a horror movie. There were horror elements, but they tended to fade as the rest of the story got more interesting. I would estimate that the first movie was maybe 30% horror. This one, probably closer to 10%.
This isn't a problem. We would be left with a much more frustrating movie if they tried to keep it scary somehow.
There are legitimate problems - the girl pretending to be blind seemed almost cringeworthy. She figures out who the killer is without much effort. On the other hand, how much of a problem is that, if we really don't care who it is?
This isn't for everyone, especially those who expect a stronger horror element. In the meantime, it's really fun, and remarkably self-aware, which gives it a lot of flexibility and freedom to push the boundaries.
But wow! This sequel manages to take the films concept, and go even further, get a little bigger and more crazy. I was completely entertained from start to finish. Really love the cast, it feels more like a group ensemble this time. The story some how finds a crazy balance of being a fun, drama, horror, mystery film, and it's all those things and more and it totally works.
I had a blast with this. Better than the first film. Totally would recommend it.
P.s. It is essential that you watch the first film before seeing part two.