THINK LIKE A MAN TOO

THINK LIKE A MAN TOO

By Gary Murray

Starring Kevin Hart, Regina Hall and Meagan Good

Written by Keith Merryman and David A. Newman

Directed by Tim Story

Running time 106 min

MPAA Rating PG-13

Selig Film Rating Cable

 

Think like a Man Too began its journey with a 2009 book by Steve Harvey Act like a Lady, Think like a Man. That book was turned into a 2012 film  Think like a Man which was a big success at the box office but not so much with the critics.  Think like a Man Too is the evitable sequel.

The story takes place in Vegas on the weekend of a wedding.  Cedric (Kevin Hart) is our narrator and all of the principles from the first film are back.  The idea is that both groups are to have bachelor and bachelorette parties the night before the big day.  Cedric has misunderstood Michael (Terrence Jenkins) and assumed that he was to be the best man.  Cedric’s goal is to be the “best, Best Man” ever. 

Cedric rents the biggest suite at the hotel, a massive group of rooms with its own butler.  He has a stripper poll placed in the living room, expecting the best after–party party in the history of parties.  His goal is to make this a night to remember for all his buddies, complete with gambling, wild women and general mayhem.

The girls are to have their own party and they run into a major problem, Loretta (Jenifer Lewis) the mother of the bride.  She does not think that anyone is good enough for her son, especially a woman with a child.  Loretta has made her own plans for the women, which include pedicures and Dione Warwick.  The conflict between the two women drives most of the film.

There are other challenges with the couples that come to a head in Sin City.  One couple is trying to conceive and sex is becoming a chore.  Another couple is having marital problems, with both being offered jobs away from LA.   And it seems that everyone in Vegas knows Zeke (Romany Malco) whom they all call ‘Zeke the Freak’.  He’s a wild party animal who has a long dark past that bothers his current girlfriend.

It all builds to a night of strippers and wanton debauchery.  Of course, they all have to be ready in the morning or the wedding will not take place.  This all builds to an evitable race to the altar and a hard left turn to sappy resolutions.  The film does a clumsy job of tying up all the loose ends with a pretty little ribbon.  The ending is a giant, neck-bending curve and feels forced to the point of violating the idea of willing suspension of disbelief.

There is only one reason to see this film and that reason is Kevin Hart.  He saves this film over and over again, dropping his comedy bombs throughout the work. He is funny when he rants and funny when he tries to be cool.  The scene of him gambling against comedian George Wallace is a highlight.  Without him, there is basically no reason to see this film.  Every scene without the actor is a weak scene that does not work. 

The editing of the film is totally off.  The film feels as if it is edited for television, with quick cuts and off-center framing. Editing like that does not work on a big screen.  The cuts jump to and fro with out the smoothness needed for a giant screen, jolting the audience and taking them out of the experience.

Also there are many padded scenes, going over and over the same beats.  To make the film even longer, there is a music video slapped in the center that feels like another reason to fill time.  This film could have been easily been cut down under 90 minutes without missing any prevalent plot-points. Where the film should be flying high on comedy, it barely takes off the ground.

Both The Hangover and Last Vegas covered much of this same ground but with better comedic results.  Using “What happens in Vegas–stays in Vegas” is becoming a tiresome punch-line.  One gets the feeling that film makers are using Las Vegas just because it is cheaper to shoot there and still have LA crews.   It does feel like we have seen every scene somewhere before.  The writing by Keith Merryman and David A. Newman is just lazy.

Director Tim Story is best known for both Fantastic 4 flicks and Ride Along but the only lesson he seemed to learn from those experiences is to hire Kevin Hart.  He finds few true connections between cast members and much of the film feels forced in both tone and tonality.  It is hard to believe all of these people are friends.  There are much more misfires than hits before the film has ended.

This film is a must see for Kevin Hart fans but not so much for an average film fan.  Every scene without the comic drags the film down into the abyss of tedium. 

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