Happy Death Day 2U [Movie Review]
Rating: PG-13 (violence, language, sexual material, and thematic elements)
Is it worth it?: I give it 4/5 stars.
Happy Death Day 2U marks the second installment of the slapstick slasher franchise Happy Death Day that made its big screen appearance in 2017.
Produced by Blumhouse Productions (Split, Get Out, The Purge) the first Happy Death Day had an unexpected amount of success generating upward of 125.5 million dollars in profit making it an instant box office hit. It also maintained a 71-percent fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.
The follow-up feature includes several references to the original film but spins the story in a way that transforms the film from its original horror comedy genre and mixes it with several sci-fi elements that audiences cannot help but identify with Back to the Future 2.
In an unexpected surprise, the Happy Death Day 2U movie successfully builds upon the humor and plot implemented into the first installment and adds an additional twist that delivers compelling performances and poses a significant question of the limitation of time that resonates with the audience.
Happy Death Day U2 begins directly where the first film left off. Main character Tree (Jessica Rothe) and her new boyfriend Carter (Israel Broussard) enjoy the honeymoon phase of their newfound romance, until they are almost immediately interrupted by Carter’s friend Ryan (Phi Vu) who believes he is reliving the same day over and over again after being brutally murdered by a man wearing the mask of their school mascot. Tree and Carter instantly see the resemblance between Ryan’s time loop dilemma and that of Tree’s circumstances that were dealt with the previous year.
It turns out that the time loop that Tree was and Ryan now is stuck in was unintentionally created by Ryan and his friends who have been working on a science experiment intended to slow down time at a molecular level.
In an attempt to fix the time loop, the group runs the machine again resulting in Tree getting stuck in the same exact time loop as before, only this time the events that happened in the previous time loop are different. Tree quickly figures out that there is a new killer on the loose that she needs to stop before returning back to her original time.
Similar to the original movie, Happy Death Day 2U borrows some of the plot lines of other movies which in this case reminds audiences of Back to the Future II. The movie clearly makes references to this movie through their dialogue.
While some may see this movie as a cop-out because it essentially plays back the original movie for the audience once again, I would argue that the production team added just enough flavor and finesse that allows the movie to stand out uniquely as its own. The film adds as much comedy, likable characters, and silliness that can be packed into an hour and forty-five minutes.
Jessica Rothe is just as likable in this film as the first film. And while she is able to show off her skills as a comedic actor in several outlandish ways of offing herself, Rothe is able to explore several serious moments in which she implements drama and emotion to the plot especially when faced with a crossroad decision.
For those who enjoyed the first movie, this one is definitely a must watch. For those who did not see the first movie, you will not be lost due to a recap narration, but you should definitely watch the first one if you get the chance.
I was presently surprised with how director Christopher Landon handled the continuation of the story because I honestly thought the movie would be a bust. Landon also includes a mid-credit scene that sets up a possible third-installment to the movie that could possibly be even more silly than the ones prior.
In conclusion, this movie worked, because it used what worked in the first. The movie definitely continued to use the dark humor that was so popular in the first film and added just enough to the plot to continue to keep the audience interested.
I give it a solid 4/5 stars.