Think Like a Man Too (2014) / Comedy-Romance
MPAA Rated: PG-13 for crude sexual content including references, partial nudity, language and drug material
Running Time: 106 min.
Cast: Kevin Hart, Terrence Jenkins, Regina Hall, Jenifer Lewis, Michael Ealy, Taraji P. Henson, Romany Malco, Jerry Ferrara, Gabrielle Union, Meagan Good, Wendi McClendon-Covey, Gary Owen, Dennis Haysbert, La La Anthony, David Walton, Adam Brody
Small role: George Wallace, Cheryl Hines, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Coco Austin, Kelsey Grammer, Wendy Williams, Ndamukung Suh
Director: Tim Story
Screenplay: Keith Merryman, David A. Newman
Review published June 24, 2014
Think Like a Man Too ups the Kevin Hart (About Last Night, Ride Along) exposure but downgrades the laughs. The entire ensemble cast from 2012's surprise hit, Think Like a Man, return as they are all in Las Vegas in order to attend the wedding of sweethearts Michael (Jenkins, Baggage Claim) and Candace (Hall, The Best Man Holiday). Hart inadvertently confuses himself as the choice for Terrence's best man, and no one bothers to tell him he is an idiot, not only for thinking he ever would be, but for renting out one of the most posh suites on the Vegas strip thinking he got a steal.
Sitcom antics ensue as the men and women experience bachelor(& - ette) parties gone awry, gambling shenanigans, off-the-hook club venues, hotel issues, and a host of other contrived Vegas-specific gags that have been done to death in older films we've all seen before. The only conflict in the wedding angle is whether Michael's mother, Loretta (Lewis, Cars 2), will finally accept Candace as her daughter-in-law, though given that she has traveled out to Vegas for the wedding, there's little doubt of that happening.
Unlike the first film, which was a bit hamstrung by the convention of trying to tell its story like the chapters of Steve Harvey's book upon which it is based, this sequel flails about without any solid narrative structure, content to be merely a collection of scenes revolving around fun Las Vegas staples that serve no purpose about thinking like a man, or about anything else for that matter. While it's nice to see that they've evolved past the 2-hour-plus infomercial (Harvey makes a cameo non-appearance, but not in relation to his book), it's a disappointment that, rather than go somewhere original, it merely lifts the basic plot of a reunion movie of a long-defunct TV show.
And these characters seem to have learned nothing from Harvey's book at all, committing the same errors that typical rom-com couples do in relationships from cinema time immemorial. With no story worth following, director Tim Story (Fantastic Four, Rise of Silver Surfer) has no choice but to up the volume, thinking that the more noise and chaos he can throw out at you, the funnier you will presume it to be. Not only does Kevin Hart start off the movie by shouting his voice-over narration, but pretty much everyone is shouting so loudly at each other, holding bullhorns while at the dinner table might not seem so out of place. This talented ensemble of actors deserves far better material than to just stand around blinking while uber-obnoxious Hart riffs with no clear direction, in between running around like the Scooby-Doo gang to give the semblance of comedic effort. Each couple has a conflict to resolve, but they're so minor that they hardly worth mentioning except that they pad the time.
The movie wears out its welcome early, and 45 minutes in, you still have no idea what it's supposed to be about. Unfortunately, you'll have no other choice but to either walk out of it, or to sink down into your chair and stew over the fact that there is still an hour to go. By the time the film finally gets around for the actual premise -- the wedding -- it feels slapped on like an afterthought, without any resonance or happiness for these wafer-thin characters that were conceived to be merely one-dimensional representations of a Steve Harvey gender stereotype from inception. For a book and film suggesting that we "Think", it's a shame that not a lot of thought went into this one.
-- There is an outtake at the end of the credits.
©2014 Vince Leo