Friday, June 20, 2014

Think Like a Man Too (2014) Review:

In 2012, Steve Harvey had his best selling book, Think Like a Man adapted to the big screen. Even with it not being proclaimed as "the greatest comedy of the year" and having the most recognizable cast, its portrayal of psychological warfare between genders and their personalities were displayed in an accurate manner and still performed well as result. The intertwining connections between each relationship led to a story with solid drama and comedy, along with tight editing that didn't allow the audience to linger too much on one particular subplot. Thankfully, the majority of these traits are kept in tact, although there are some issues that the first movie did not suffer from.

It's one side versus,....
Starting where the first movie left off, Michael (the mama's boy) from the dude crew decides that he and Candice should get married in Las Vegas. So to make sure everything goes according to plan, he asks Cedric (Kevin Hart) to take care of the event. Once everyone meets up at Las Vegas, the genders break off in their separate groups again decide how they're going to enjoy their Bachelor(ette) party. However, like most stories, nothing goes according to plan. Michael's mom (yes she tags along) begins meddling with both parties, mainly the females. But even with this, Cedric begins to have trouble convincing his male buds that they need to live it up since it'll be a while before they can be a wild and free crew again. Of course Michael, being the one to refuse going to strip clubs and such. Thus the title, "Think Like a Man Too". Get it? You know, like the guys now have to think more like men should? Yeah it’s a vague play on the title but I'm pretty sure that was what the concept the producers were going for.

Quite honestly, I'm surprised they didn't just label it as "Think Like a Man 2". How do you extend a story beyond its source material anyway? The whole idea behind the first movie was that it flipped the relationship role playing on its head. Now, it's more like a gimmick; but I digress. Having the guys try do more guy activities is a different thing so kudos to director Tim Story for going that route. The problem however, is that the writing doesn't stick to this particular plot line and develop it with its established characters. Instead, the execution starts off like its predecessor with initial conflicts, abruptly leaves them to loosely weave them in for the meat of the story and then finally crams them in at last minute so that there's a sense of closure. This is a bit disappointing considering how effective the first film was when it was defining its characters with such purpose.

What takes control over these character arc subplots are the improvised bachelor(ette) parties. That and Kevin Hart hogged the camera more this time round. The weird thing is, even with more screen time, Hart's character is lesser defined than before from the last movie. One of his particular subplots were not even finished. Hey Mr. Keith Merryman and David A. Newman, your writing's getting a little sloppy. In exchange for the important developmental arcs that involve romance AND comedy, the party scenes are used only for comedic purposes. Shockingly, even with the more importantly dramatic scenes being rather absent, the comedy still is effective throughout the movie. Kevin Hart again steals the show, but there are also times where various crewmembers get into some strange and funny situations. Some of which, I'm not sure anyone would be able to see from too far away.

....the other,....kinda
The music, once again composed by Christopher Lennertz made a decent score. Although I'm sure it'll never be released to the public, the background music was still easygoing - no main title of course. Peter S. Elliot's editing is still tight and keeps the story going which is good.  Christopher Duskin's cinematography is also well shot for its location. Even though many scenes take place inside a building (and some out), the view always looks grandiose and has an upper class feel. Of course, along with the main cast, who perform well, audiences will get to see a slew of other celebrities. Dennis Haysbert, better known as the "Allstate guy" plays a minor role. Who would've thought. Also Adam Brody and David Walton have minor roles too, they should be tolerable although I hope they don't turn out being apart of the main cast. There's enough characters already. All in all, it's a decent sequel, but more character development would've been appreciated.

The writing minimizes a lot of the character development and drama in exchange for humor. Although it works, the product of the title doesn't match its premise. Not that anyone will complain too much. It's still a fun ride.

Points Earned -->7:10

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