'Think Like a Man Too' takes fun out of Vegas

Matt Pais movie review: 'Think Like a Man Too'

'Think Like a Man Too'

'Think Like a Man Too' (June 16, 2014)

*1/2 (out of four)

No one worth partying with in Vegas actually says, “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” No man, I hope, is so incapable of commenting on relationships that he can only speak in sports metaphors. And no post-1992 comic with any self respect should peddle “Black people are like this, white people are like this” jokes.

As you may have guessed, I did not find “Think Like a Man Too,” the deeply unnecessary sequel to the 2012 film based on Steve Harvey’s self-help book, amusing in the slightest. Throughout the movie, Cedric (Kevin Hart) delivers increasingly annoying, superficial color commentary on a Vegas weekend by describing this battle of the sexes in basketball terms. (“It was the third quarter, and it was still anybody’s game.”) Meanwhile, the super-white guy of the group (Gary Owen) wears a fanny pack and wants to see the “Jersey Boys” stage show. The movie bites its gags from everything from “Futurama” to “Sour Grapes.” Other jokes rip off basically every other movie about Vegas and/or people considering parenthood. 

The thin excuse for a plot involves Michael (Terrence Jenkins) and Candace’s (Regina Hall) approaching wedding, having missed the memo about not holding bachelor/bachelorette parties the night before the wedding. Seriously, no one should do this. 

Alas, they round up their guys and gals for a wild night on the strip, the men (including Michael Ealy, Romany Malco and Jerry Ferrara) inevitably getting derailed by Cedric’s shenanigans and the women (Taraji P. Henson, Meagan Good, Gabrielle Union) bummed out by Candace’s Debbie Downer of a future mother-in-law (Jenifer Lewis). 

In case the “Hangover” dudes didn’t spend enough time complaining about their women, “Think Like a Man Too” pretends to even the playing field while still siding with the guys. The writers create situations (Michael and Candace going three months without sex; the women accidentally ingesting pot) and then give them next-to-no payoff. Resorting to amateur stripping and slow-motion strutting down a hall screams a lack of ideas. 

To be fair, the audience in the theater was howling, and I did appreciate that “TLAM Too” is quite a bit shorter than its predecessor. (Though it’s padded with the cast doing an in-movie music video for Bell Biv Devoe’s “Poison.” Really.) Here’s hoping “TLAM 3,” if there is one, remembers what the T stands for. 

Watch Matt review the week's big new movies Fridays at noon on NBC.

mpais@tribune.com

 

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