Reviews - Major Releases


Film Review: Think Like a Man Too

More is less in this frantic, overstuffed follow-up.

June 19, 2014

-By Frank Scheck


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1402908-Think_Like_A_Man_Md.jpg
Think Like a Man, based on Steve Harvey’s best-selling, comic relationship-advice tome Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, was a box-office hit two years ago, so it’s not surprising that it’s been accorded a sequel. Featuring the entire original ensemble, including Kevin Hart, as well as several new additions to the cast, Think Like a Man Too is a frantic, overstuffed follow-up that, with its Las Vegas setting, more closely resembles a Hangover sequel than its relatively restrained predecessor. While the film seems poised for major box-office success, it mainly squanders the talents of its cast and is bound to test the patience of more discriminating audiences.

All of the first film’s four couples are back, with each facing relationship issues. Mama’s boy Michael (Terrence J) and single mother Candace (Regina Hall) are about to get married, much to the consternation of his overbearing mother, Loretta (Jenifer Lewis). Newlyweds Jeremy (Jerry Ferrara) and Kristen (Gabrielle Union) are at odds over her desperate desire to get pregnant. Lauren's (Taraji P. Henson) and Dominic’s (Michael Ealy) relationship is threatened when she receives a lucrative job offer that entails moving to New York. And Mya (Meagan Good) is unable to get over her discomfort with Zeke’s (Romany Malco) reputation as a player, especially when he’s greeted in his old stomping grounds as “Zeke the Freak.”

Also on hand are the group’s dorky friend Bennett (Gary Owen) and his fashion-challenged wife, Tish (the reliably amusing Wendi McLendon-Covey); Mya’s best friend, Sonia (La La Anthony); and Michael’s former fraternity brothers Isaac (Adam Brody) and Terrell (David Walton).

And of course there’s Cedric (Hart), the height-impaired lothario—now on a trial separation from his shrewish wife, Gail (Wendy Williams)—who mistakenly assumes the role of Michael’s best man for the wedding and impulsively books a lavish hotel suite, complete with a private British butler, that he thinks is $4,000 a night but actually costs ten times that.

If that description seems overwhelming, the film, which juggles so many characters and situations that it’s exhausting simply trying to keep up, is no less so. Director Tim Story and screenwriters Keith Merryman and David A. Newman seem mainly intent on exploiting the Vegas setting to the nth degree, with the proceedings practically coming across as a paid advertisement for Caesars Palace.

Hart is clearly the dominant presence with his motormouthed line delivery and manic physicality, but while he scores plenty of laughs, he’s also forced to perform such embarrassing scenes as a Risky Business parody in which he frenziedly dances around his hotel suite in his underwear. The rest of the action is divided between so many characters that few of the performers manage to make much of an impression, with the exception of Lewis as the domineering mother who enjoys a one-night stand with the suave, smooth-talking “Uncle Eddie” (Dennis Haysbert).

Making a token nod to its literary inspiration with relationship-oriented narration by Hart that barely makes an impression, the film relies on such clichéd plot elements as the men reluctantly joining an amateur male stripper contest in an attempt to make enough money to pay for the hotel suite—much to the surprise of their women who have ventured to the club for a bachelorette party. There’s also the requisite comic shopping montage, and a faux music video in which the distaff cast members lip-sync to Bell Biv DeVoe’s 1990 hit “Poison.” The expected celebrity cameos include Drake and boxer Floyd Mayweather, with the latter making Mike Tyson seem a comic genius by comparison. Kelsey Grammer also shows up for a couple of scenes, to little effect.

Coming across as more than a little desperate in its unrelenting freneticism, Think Like a Man Too possesses none of the charm of its predecessor. By the time the seemingly endless film reaches its conclusion, you’ll wish that what happened in Vegas had stayed in Vegas.

The Hollywood Reporter

Click here for cast & crew information.


Film Review: Think Like a Man Too

More is less in this frantic, overstuffed follow-up.

June 19, 2014

-By Frank Scheck


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1402908-Think_Like_A_Man_Md.jpg

Think Like a Man, based on Steve Harvey’s best-selling, comic relationship-advice tome Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, was a box-office hit two years ago, so it’s not surprising that it’s been accorded a sequel. Featuring the entire original ensemble, including Kevin Hart, as well as several new additions to the cast, Think Like a Man Too is a frantic, overstuffed follow-up that, with its Las Vegas setting, more closely resembles a Hangover sequel than its relatively restrained predecessor. While the film seems poised for major box-office success, it mainly squanders the talents of its cast and is bound to test the patience of more discriminating audiences.

All of the first film’s four couples are back, with each facing relationship issues. Mama’s boy Michael (Terrence J) and single mother Candace (Regina Hall) are about to get married, much to the consternation of his overbearing mother, Loretta (Jenifer Lewis). Newlyweds Jeremy (Jerry Ferrara) and Kristen (Gabrielle Union) are at odds over her desperate desire to get pregnant. Lauren's (Taraji P. Henson) and Dominic’s (Michael Ealy) relationship is threatened when she receives a lucrative job offer that entails moving to New York. And Mya (Meagan Good) is unable to get over her discomfort with Zeke’s (Romany Malco) reputation as a player, especially when he’s greeted in his old stomping grounds as “Zeke the Freak.”

Also on hand are the group’s dorky friend Bennett (Gary Owen) and his fashion-challenged wife, Tish (the reliably amusing Wendi McLendon-Covey); Mya’s best friend, Sonia (La La Anthony); and Michael’s former fraternity brothers Isaac (Adam Brody) and Terrell (David Walton).

And of course there’s Cedric (Hart), the height-impaired lothario—now on a trial separation from his shrewish wife, Gail (Wendy Williams)—who mistakenly assumes the role of Michael’s best man for the wedding and impulsively books a lavish hotel suite, complete with a private British butler, that he thinks is $4,000 a night but actually costs ten times that.

If that description seems overwhelming, the film, which juggles so many characters and situations that it’s exhausting simply trying to keep up, is no less so. Director Tim Story and screenwriters Keith Merryman and David A. Newman seem mainly intent on exploiting the Vegas setting to the nth degree, with the proceedings practically coming across as a paid advertisement for Caesars Palace.

Hart is clearly the dominant presence with his motormouthed line delivery and manic physicality, but while he scores plenty of laughs, he’s also forced to perform such embarrassing scenes as a Risky Business parody in which he frenziedly dances around his hotel suite in his underwear. The rest of the action is divided between so many characters that few of the performers manage to make much of an impression, with the exception of Lewis as the domineering mother who enjoys a one-night stand with the suave, smooth-talking “Uncle Eddie” (Dennis Haysbert).

Making a token nod to its literary inspiration with relationship-oriented narration by Hart that barely makes an impression, the film relies on such clichéd plot elements as the men reluctantly joining an amateur male stripper contest in an attempt to make enough money to pay for the hotel suite—much to the surprise of their women who have ventured to the club for a bachelorette party. There’s also the requisite comic shopping montage, and a faux music video in which the distaff cast members lip-sync to Bell Biv DeVoe’s 1990 hit “Poison.” The expected celebrity cameos include Drake and boxer Floyd Mayweather, with the latter making Mike Tyson seem a comic genius by comparison. Kelsey Grammer also shows up for a couple of scenes, to little effect.

Coming across as more than a little desperate in its unrelenting freneticism, Think Like a Man Too possesses none of the charm of its predecessor. By the time the seemingly endless film reaches its conclusion, you’ll wish that what happened in Vegas had stayed in Vegas.

The Hollywood Reporter

Click here for cast & crew information.
Post a Comment
Asterisk (*) is a required field.
* Author: 
Rate This Article: (1=Bad, 5=Perfect)

*Comment:
 

More Major Releases

Film Review: Before I Go to Sleep

Grim, humorless psychological thriller which goes from scrupulously set up, clenched tension to violently haywire, senselessly brutal action. More »

Film Review: Horns

Headlined by an unconvincing Daniel Radcliffe with a lame American accent, this sluggish and atonal fantasy saga awkwardly straddles the line between comedy and horror. More »

Film Review: Nightcrawler

A media satire that has little new to say about its subject but nonetheless thrives courtesy of its seedy, nocturnal L.A. atmosphere and a magnetic, uninhibited lead performance by Jake Gyllenhaal. More »

John Wick
Film Review: John Wick

Retired hit man seeks revenge on Russian mob in an above-average action film. More »

ADVERTISEMENT



REVIEWS

John Wick
Film Review: John Wick

Retired hit man seeks revenge on Russian mob in an above-average action film. More »

Fury Review
Film Review: Fury

American tanks fight superior German forces in the closing days of World War II. More »

Player for the Film Journal International website.


ADVERTISEMENT



INDUSTRY GUIDES

» Blue Sheets
FJI's guide to upcoming movie releases, including films in production and development. Check back weekly for the latest additions.

» Distribution Guide
» Equipment Guide
» Exhibition Guide

ORDER A PRINT SUBSCRIPTION

Film Journal International

Subscribe to the monthly print edition of Film Journal International and get the full visual impact of this valuable resource for the cinema business.

» Click Here

SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Learn how to promote your company at the Film Expo Group events: ShowEast, CineEurope, and CineAsia.

» Click Here