(NEW YORK) -- Think Like A Man Too reunites the entire cast from the surprise hit Think Like A Man, which was based on Steve Harvey’s best-selling book Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man. Besides an impressive array of talented actors, the first movie’s strength and its intelligence came from the way it incorporated Harvey’s book into the plot, and referenced it just enough not to seem like a filmfomercial. Think Like A Man Too’s strength, however, is also one of its weakness: Kevin Hart.
I am a fan of Hart's but, like any great comedian, he occasionally bombs. Here, here's at his best when he's on screen as Cedric, who's in way over his head (and that's not a height joke) as Michael’s (Terrence Jenkins) best man. Hart is at his worst when his character is narrating the film -- it's simply never funny, mostly because he sounds like he’s reading the lines off a script. But that’s just one of many things that don’t work about the movie.
All of the couples are in Vegas for Michael and Candace’s (Regina Hall) wedding. Each couple is going through some sort of conflict, whether it’s Mya (Meagan Good) discovering that Zeke (Romany Malco) used to be a playa, Jeremy’s (Jerry Ferrara) doubts about getting Kristen (Gabrielle Union) pregnant and becoming a dad, or Lauren’s (Taraji P. Henson ) job offer in New York that she’s keeping a secret from Dominic (Michael Ealy). Even Michael and Candace have a problem: Loretta (Jennifer Lewis), Michael’s overbearing mother.
Cedric’s narration tries to position this as a battle of the sexes, with the men competing against the women to throw the better bachelor/bachelorette party, but it actually feels more like a battle of screenwriters who are trying to figure out how to turn this into a cohesive, funny and heart-warming story.
Most of the humor comes from Hart’s antics, and we all benefit from his willingness to do or say anything for a laugh, whether it's dancing around in his underwear, or jumping into the deep end of a swimming pool to impress the ladies, only to realize that he can't swim. There are also several surprise cameos that are good for laugh-out-loud moments, but many of the situations that are meant to be funny -- especially those scenes that don’t include Hart -- come off as trite.
As another film released this summer, 22 Jump Street, does such a good job pointing out, the sequel is rarely better than the original, and in this case, Think Like A Man Too doesn’t come close. That’s not say you won’t laugh, but you’re better off doing so in the comfort of your own home when somebody lends you a copy of the DVD.
Two-and-a-half out of five stars.
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