Phi Vu as Ryan in Happy Death Day 2U, written and directed by Christopher Landon.
Phi Vu as Ryan in Happy Death Day 2U, written and directed by Christopher Landon. Supplied

MOVIE REVIEW: Happy Death Day 2U is history repeating

HAPPY DEATH DAY 2U (M)

 

Rating: Two and a half stars (2.5 out of 5)

 

Director: Christopher Landon (Happy Death Day)

 

Starring: Jessica Rothe, Israel Broussard, Phi Vu, Rachel Matthews.

 

A repeat dose of deja vu

 

In late 2017, Happy Death Day appeared with little advance promotion and a no-name cast.

What this scrappy, low-budget thriller did have going for it was the one bright idea that ultimately made it a hit : fusing the same-day-over-and-over storytelling of Groundhog Day with the senseless-deaths-over-and-over bloodletting of a slasher flick.

(from left)
(from left) "Babyface" and Tree (Jessica Rothe) in "Happy Death Day 2U," written and directed by Christopher Landon.

The makers of Happy Death Day got the mix exactly right. The movie was funny, not too gruesome, and well aware of both its own silliness and limitations.

The same winning qualities are once again to the fore in the obligatory sequel Happy Death Day 2U. Which is just as well, because the new story in play lacks the freshness of its predecessor.

(from left) Jessica Rothe as Tree Gelbman, Israel Broussard as Carter and Phi Vu as Ryan in
(from left) Jessica Rothe as Tree Gelbman, Israel Broussard as Carter and Phi Vu as Ryan in "Happy Death Day 2U," written and directed by Christopher Landon.

As before, the super-sarcastic heroine Tree (Jessica Rothe, wonderful yet again and clearly going places after this) is living the same wretched Monday repeatedly.

The same baby-masked serial killer is on the loose, however this time, it is no spoiler to reveal someone different is brandishing a knife and brutalising students all over campus.

The new reason for the cartoonish carnage has more to do with Back to the Future than Groundhog Day, due to a lab project that messes with the laws of time and physics.

Jessica Rothe as Tree Gelbman in
Jessica Rothe as Tree Gelbman in "Happy Death Day 2U," written and directed by Christopher Landon.

According to a mercifully quick explanation early in Happy Death Day 2U, a geeky kid has punched a hole in the universe large enough for any number of evil time loops to play havoc with reality. And, umm, mortality.

Whatever. Who comes to movies like this for a science lesson anyway?

 

(third row from bottom, from left) Phi Vu as Ryan, Jessica Rothe as Tree Gelbman, Israel Broussard as Carter, Sarah Yarkin as Dre, and Suraj Sharma as Samar in
(third row from bottom, from left) Phi Vu as Ryan, Jessica Rothe as Tree Gelbman, Israel Broussard as Carter, Sarah Yarkin as Dre, and Suraj Sharma as Samar in "Happy Death Day 2U," written and directed by Christopher Landon.

 

 


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