Powered by Blogger.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Review: Happy Death Day 2U

Director: Christopher Landon
Screenplay: Scott Lobdell
Year: 2019

With the box office success of “Happy Death Day” it was expected that this idea will continue to be used in at least another movie. “Happy Death Day 2U” repeats the same cast and crew as the first one, with director Christopher Landon and writer Scott Lobdell in charge of the story. With this information it is clear that the formula that gave so much success will be overused in this one but, will it work a second time?

In “Happy Death Day 2U” Tree Gelbman is happy after having survived the events from “Happy Death Day”. However, this time it is Ryan, the roommate of her boyfriend Carter, who starts to experience relieving the same day over and over, which ends in his assassination. Tree, having lived this, decides to help him and while they try to discover how to get out of this paradox, she falls again in the loop of reliving her death day.

“Happy Death Day 2U” starts right where “Happy Death Day” ends. The movie starts with Ryan, interpreted by Phi Vu (“Logan”), who starts to experience the same phenomenon as Tree of reliving the same day, which ends in his murder. Once he talks to Tree about what is happening, she tries to help him, and they manage to discover the reason why they are trapped living the same day. As a consequence of this discovery, Tree gets trapped again in the same loop reliving the same day over and over. Here a lot of science fiction elements are shown that only serve as an excuse to justify that Tree falls again in the loop and recycle a successful idea. From the beginning, it seems like the movie will be focused on Ryan, but once Tree appears, he falls back to be a secondary character and a few ideas that were started with this character end up without being resolved.

Once the plot moves to the story of Tree, interpreted by Jessica Rothe (“La La Land”) again in the cycle of reliving her death day, the story feels like a complement if the first one. This time they use science fiction and comedy elements to develop the plot, but the main idea is the same. The comedy, while being good, is overused and in parts it feels like a comedy movie with some horror elements. With the science fiction part, they try to establish the theory of parallel universes to create slightly different situations. As what happened in the first one, there is a strong emotional factor involved, as with the parallel universes stuff creates situations in which Tree must decide between losing important people for her and under which situation she will prefer to live.

Once it is clear that the murderer is not the same person as in the first part and that the dynamics between the characters is not the same thanks to the parallel universes, it starts the mystery of who is the killer and what are its motives. Here they try that the plot and the reveal are unpredictable and surprising, but they end up being confusing and senseless. Again, it seems like an excuse to extend ideas of the first movie, this time being the suspect. This revelation does not manage to give that surprising moment and feels completely out of place. It feels more like they were trying to rescue unused ideas from the first one and that maybe would have worked better on that one because of the events that unfold in it, but in this one, they come out as forced and senseless.

“Happy Death Day 2U”, while is not a bad movie, it does not bring anything new and is completely unnecessary.  The comedy is overused and, in their attempt to craft something different from the first one, it comes out as confusing. Since the beginning, it is clear that they are recycling ideas from the first one but end up being too similar to it. They also try to explain the reason for the paradox of being trapped living the same day and this takes some value of the first one, who had a more mystique feeling in that aspect. To answer the question left open at the beginning of the review, this idea does not work for a second time. In “Happy Death Day” this idea is fresh, although not original as it is based on “Groundhog Day” but trying it a second time takes away all novelty and does not contribute anything new, besides from some explanations that barely benefit the original story.

No comments:

Post a Comment