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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Think Like a Man Too Review: Funny Moments Ruined By Its Conscience

Think Like a Man Too squanders its many assets and gets too serious at the end.

If I could blame two movies for ruining everything, it would be The Lord of the Rings series and The Hangover - each changed their genres instantly and forever, raising expectations for everything that came afterwards. So, when a distributive of these films come out, all we can do is shake our head and wonder what could have been. Such was our experience with Think Like a Man Too, a film that lays no new ground and suffers from a pang of conscience midway through the third act.

As the crew gather for a wedding in Las Vegas, we see several relationships started in the original now at key junctions. Couple Lauren (Taraji P. Henson) and Dominic (Michael Ealy) have received enticing job offers far away from LA, while fiancees Michael (Terrance Jenkins) and Kristen (Gabrielle Union) must deal with Michael's overly protective mother (Jennifer Lewis), who doesn't like Kristen in the least. Meanwhile the pint-sized Cedric (Kevin Hart) is seeing his marriage on the rocks, necessitating a wild Vegas weekend as Michael's best man. As plans for the guys and ladies begin to unravel, each relationship will be tested before all of them land up in jail.

Think doesn't require a lot of it, existing merely to entertain, to keep us laughing long enough so that its awfully serious third act feels like a completely different movie. When that moment arrives, all of the positive energy it had built escapes like a popped balloon, replaced with marriage declarations and sobbing ladies who look to their men to pick up the pieces. We have been very happy to see women take control in 2014, but Think doesn't do it enough, placing their sex in the more traditional role of waiting for things to come to them. We know this series isn't about high-end entertainment, but neither was The Hangover and that one set that standards to which Think doesn't aspire. Hart and team are funny, but characters Zeke (Romany Malco) and Candance (Regina Hall) just seem to be there to take up space. We love the chemistry between Hart, Henson, Ealy, and Union and think a comedy with a smaller cast might have produced richer rewards. Why a film would suddenly lets its own conscience overtake what was a hilarious comedy and replace it with such a serious third act is beyond us.

Director Tim Story and Writers Keith Merryman and David A. Newmandoes know how to tell a wild comedy, and for the most part they do, getting our characters into one scrape and then another. There's funny references to other movies, including a nice one of Entrourage star Jerry Ferrera who makes up part of the white side of the posse. But for the most part, he and Gary Owen are there for window dressing, ready to show just how apparently white we white people are. This is by no means a negative, as they get into the silliness as well, but there's just too many people on screen for us to view them as anything other than comedic vehicles ready for the next skit. Again, this isn't an awful movie, and if you're a fan of this sort of ensemble comedy, then you might yourself in perfect company.

Think Like a Man Too is nothing more than a crude copy of The Hangover, existing merely to entertain and to squander its many assets along the way. And while there are a lot of funny scenes early on, things get too serious later as if we were watching two different pictures. If you're set on seeing something new and funny this weekend, make sure you've enjoyed Neighbors and 22 Jump Street before taking a chance with Think Like a Man Too. Better yet, save your money and wait for it arrive on Netflix - we think you'll thank us later.

Think Like a Man Too is rated PG-13 for crude sexual content including references, partial nudity, language and drug material and has a runtime of 106 minutes.

Discuss this review with fellow SJF fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @SandwichJohnFilms, and follow author Matt Cummings at @mfc90125.
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