Think Like a Man Too


Kevin Hart as Cedric
Michael Ealy as Dominic
Terrence Jenkins as Michael
Romany Malco as Zeke
Jerry Ferrara as Jeremy
Gary Owen as Bennett
Regina Hall as Candace
Taraji P. Henson as Lauren
Gabrielle Union as Kristen
Meagan Good as Maya
Wendi McLendon-Covey as Tish
Jenifer Lewis as Loretta
Dennis Haysbert as Uncle Eddie
Adam Brody as Isaac
Jim Piddock as Declan
Gabrielle Union as Kristen

It’s easy to brush aside sequels as mercenary cash grabs, entities which by the very fact of their conception will likely never achieve anything remotely like heart and soul. It’s easy to brush them aside that way, because all too often that is what they are, follow ups created often in a rush in order to ‘strike while the iron’s hot’ and not given the time needed to come up with a worthy follow to its progenitor. Not that the first “Think Like a Man” was any great shakes, taking Steve Harvey’s relationship advice book and crafting a very, very, very, very loose narrative around said advice. Director Tim Story’s (“Ride Along”) totally unnecessary follow up has ditched even that remote level of consistency, choosing to go with option B: ship all the characters to a new, exotic locale and let wackiness happen.

After all the ‘thinking like a man, acting like a lady? shenanigans of the first film, the ensemble’s couples have been prepping themselves for long-term bliss. “Think Like a Man Too” finds the group preparing to celebrate the nuptials of Candace (Regina Hall) and Michael (Terrence Jenkins); which is really just an excuse to get us to Las Vegas. But before the marriage must come the bachelor party (what else does Las Vegas exist for nowadays? I imagine hordes of bachelor and bachelorette parties continually bouncing into one another) and said hijinks.

And to let Kevin Hart mug for the camera, which ultimately seems to be the film’s only driving purpose. Story and writers David Newman and Keith Merryman have gone to the trouble to get the band back together and have made sure to keep them in basically the same ruts they were in during the first film: Zeeke (Malco) is still dealing with his Casanova past and the speed bump it has become for a real romantic future, Dominic (Ealy) and Lauren (Henson) have gotten back together so that they can decide if they want to break up again and Jeremy (Ferrara and Kristen (Union) have gone from worrying about getting married to worrying about having kids. In theory that’s what they’re doing. In reality they spend most of their time standing behind Hart, whose ascendant star has pushed him from being a minor member of an ensemble romantic dramedy to the lead of a hi-jinks filled comedy of errors.

It’s a tone which Hart himself keeps getting better and better at, but which none of the actors were originally cast to handle which leaves them mostly standing behind Hart like useless set decoration while he tries to keep the energy high.

Story certainly seems to have realized this as well, as he and his writers quickly ditch the relationship hooks (barring a few useless stops to remind us they exist) in favor of the classic ‘throw everything at the wall’ strategy which sees, among other things, the girls getting stoned on pot gum and making a Bell Biv DeVoe video, the introduction of Michael’s whiter shade of pale frat brothers (Brody, Piddock; who quickly become as irrelevant as everyone not named Kevin Hart) and a pointless cameo by Drake.And all along forgetting the cardinal rule of this sort of thing: it has to be funny. “Think Like a Man Too” is many things, but it is never funny.

I’d be tempted to call it “The Light Hangover,” but I already used that on “Last Vegas” making it the third awful film in a year to decide ‘we’ll just do what ‘The Hangover’ did, how hard can it be?’ Thanks “Hangover,” thanks for nothing.