Global  

Celebrating 10 Years of Trusted News Discovery
One News Page
> >

‘Happy Death Day 2U’ Film Review: Frightfully Clever Slasher Sequel is 2 Cool 2 B Forgotten

The Wrap Tuesday, 12 February 2019 ()
‘Happy Death Day 2U’ Film Review: Frightfully Clever Slasher Sequel is 2 Cool 2 B ForgottenHow do you make a sequel out of a film which, by design, was already repetitive? “Happy Death Day” was the best original slasher film in recent memory, and following up its “Groundhog Day meets Graduation Day” premise with another simple time loop would have been easy, and probably even fun. But returning director Christopher Landon has more ambitious ideas in “Happy Death Day 2U,” transforming the original high-concept slasher into a ambitious and witty sci-fi treatise on alternate realities and the cinematic significance of personal growth in sequels, which frequently forces protagonists to unlearn valuable lessons of the past, just so they can take the same cinematic journey over and over again.

The smart, funny “Happy Death Day” starred Jessica Rothe (“La La Land”) as a stuck-up college student who relived the same day over and over again, because at the end of it she always got killed by a psycho in a baby mask before waking right back up at the beginning. The film ended with Rothe’s character, Tree, solving her own murder and waking up on Sept. 19, the day after her deadly time loop, with her new boyfriend Carter (Israel Broussard).

“Happy Death Day 2U” begins at the exact same time, a few blocks away, when Carter’s roommate Ryan (Phi Vu) wakes up, interrupts their victory snuggle, and then walks to the college science lab to continue his previously unseen experiments with the “Sisyphus Quantum Cooling Reactor,” or “Sissy” for short. Oh yeah, we’re going there.

*Watch Video:* 'Happy Death Day 2U' Trailer: Jessica Rothe Is Stuck Reliving Her Murder Again

The invention, which sure has had a lot of unexpected activity lately (hmmm…), gets shut down by the school, and Ryan’s day only gets worse from there, because a killer in a baby mask murders him almost immediately afterward. Ryan wakes up once again on Sept. 19 and tries to tell Carter and Tree about his vivid sense of déjà vu, at which point Tree takes over as only Tree can, with endearing aggravation and a singular sense of humor, laying out the whole plot and grabbing a baseball bat to kick the babyface murderer’s butt.

But the solution to Ryan’s problem takes a very unusual turn, and it sends Tree rocketing back to Sept. 18, pissing her off to no end. But there’s something slightly different this time. Some of the familiar details from “Happy Death Day” have changed, and Carter is now the loving boyfriend of Tree’s sorority sister Danielle (Rachel Matthews), who no longer seems selfish and flaky. Tree is stuck in her old time loop, but now she’s in a parallel dimension, and that poses a whole bunch of brand new questions and problems.

*Also Read:* 'Happy Death Day' Star Jessica Rothe on Dying 11 Times in New Horror Movie

“Happy Death Day 2U” isn’t screwing around. The plot kicks off in just a few short minutes and doesn’t wait for the audience to catch up to its unpredictable twists and borderline-impenetrable tech talk. This is fast-paced, endlessly clever filmmaking, with the new screenplay by director Landon (taking over from original writer Scott Lobdell) finding every new angle imaginable in a seemingly cyclical narrative. There are so many big developments that the movie seems to forget about one or two of them, although given how well-constructed the rest of the story is, they may be intentional set-ups for future sequels.

Landon’s film also takes the novel approach of changing the entire genre of the franchise. What started out as a slasher version of “Groundhog Day,” with no explanation whatsoever for its deadly time loop, is now officially “hard” science-fiction. There’s still a killer (it’s Tree’s birthday after all), but the majority of the deaths are self-inflicted, as Tree finds new ways to murder herself whenever she actually wants the day to restart, for reasons related to the plot or — as she watches her boyfriend make out with somebody else — morbid pettiness.

But although the death scenes are consistently funny, the actual scares are now minimal, and the intelligence and humor have taken over. Tree starts out as a pawn in an existential game and gradually finds her agency, and she makes seemingly impossible moral and ethical decisions about her own life, the lives of her friends, and maybe even the fate of the universe. While “Happy Death Day 2U” acknowledges that the meaningful personal journey Tree went on in the original film, though reset by external circumstance, it continues to change her in new and unexpected ways. This is not one of those sequels that simply remakes the original, even though Landon probably could have gotten away with that.

*Also Read:* Amazon Studios, Blumhouse TV Team Up for 8 Thematically-Connected Films

These “Happy Death Day” films are exceptionally well-written and directed, but this is Rothe’s franchise. The series asks an impossible amount from the actor, and she juggles every complex element, making it look easy. The fear, the frustration, the power, the humor, the romance: Rothe nimbly keeps it all alive with ingenious body language and expressions so readable they’re practically a universal language. She’s matched at every turn by a stellar supporting cast, who turn bizarre dialogue into endearing character beats, but “Happy Death Day” and “Happy Death Day 2U” make the bulletproof case that Rothe should be a major star in the Hollywood firmament.

And of course, “Happy Death Day 2U” would be nothing without the brilliant editing from Ben Baudhuin (“Colossal”). The complex task of keeping the audience up to speed with all these perpetually changing timelines, character developments and regressions, and the impeccable timing of every background detail is an incredible achievement. They only look breezy, these “Happy Death Day” movies. They’re about as complicated as complicated gets. The script supervisor deserves an honorary Academy Award for keeping all of this straight.

“Happy Death Day” may be the only franchise to successfully transition from the slasher genre to science-fiction (sorry, “Hellraiser: Bloodlines” and “Jason X”), and although it’s almost too much story, too much humor, and too many ideas for one movie to contain, the breathlessness of “Happy Death Day 2U” is irresistible. This is one frightfully clever sequel that audiences will want to revisit again… and again… and again… and again… and again…



*Related stories from TheWrap:*

Netflix PR Chief Karen Barragan Moves Over to Blumhouse

Blumhouse Television Adds Lisa Niedenthal as EVP of Production, Four More Execs

Lucy Hale in Talks to Join 'Fantasy Island' for Blumhouse and Sony (Exclusive)

Jamie Foxx to Play 'Spawn' for Todd McFarlane and Blumhouse
0
shares
ShareTweetSavePostSend
 
Credit: Common Sense Media - Affiliate - Published < > Embed
News video: Happy Death Day 2U: Video Review

▶ Happy Death Day 2U: Video Review 01:05

Happy Death Day 2U: Video Review

You Might Like


Other recent news and videos in Movies: Movie Reviews

Movies: Movie Reviews News
Kumbalangi Nights movie review: A near-flawless drama that turns toxic masculinity on its head
Bruce Springsteen-Inspired Sundance Film ‘Blinded by the Light’ Given Release Date by Warner Bros.
‘Birds of Passage’ Film Review: Haunting Epic Is Not Your Typical Colombian Drug Saga
The Wife Movie Review: Bjorn Runge’s Film Has Nothing Except Glenn Close
 
Video [Video]Video

Raja Sens movie review of Gully Boy

Credit: HT-VAN_Hindustan Times     Duration: 02:27Published

Gully Boy Movie Review Ranveer Singh Alia Bhatt Zoya Akhtar TutejaTalks [Video]Gully Boy Movie Review Ranveer Singh Alia Bhatt Zoya Akhtar TutejaTalks

Gully Boy Movie Review Ranveer Singh Alia Bhatt Zoya Akhtar TutejaTalks

Credit: HT-VAN_desimartini     Duration: 03:20Published


Recent related videos from verified sources

Loper Report: 'Isn't It Romantic,' 'Happy Death Day 2U' [Video]Loper Report: 'Isn't It Romantic,' 'Happy Death Day 2U'

Film critic Wil Loper reviews "Isn't It Romantic" and "Happy Death Day 2U."

Credit: WISCPublished

'Happy Death Day 2U' Stars Jessica Rothe and Israel Broussard Talk 'Happy Death Day 2U' Stars Jessica Rothe and Israel Broussard Talk "Amping Up the Scares" in Sequel | In Studio

The stars also discusses a possible third film and the upcoming 'To All The Boys I've Loved Before' sequel.

Credit: The Hollywood Reporter     Duration: 17:55Published

Kim Kardashian Dishes On Kanye West’s Gone-Viral Valentine’s Day Gift [Video]Kim Kardashian Dishes On Kanye West’s Gone-Viral Valentine’s Day Gift

Only “Extra” was with Kim Kardashian to dish on the epic Valentine's Day present husband Kanye West gave her — a rose-filled room with none other than Kenny G playing his sax! Kim gushed,..

Credit: Wochit     Duration: 00:52Published

Giggs and Tiny Boost freestyle | GRM GOLD [Video]Giggs and Tiny Boost freestyle | GRM GOLD

SUBSCRIBE : http://bit.ly/GRMsubscribe Prepare to be educated, as we are kicking off our new (old) GRM Gold series, by taking you back to March 2009 with this 'ardbodied legendary freestyle from..

Credit: GRM Daily     Duration: 03:56Published

Fat but fit: Plus size fitness guru claims she is healthier than slimmer girls – despite being morbidly obese [Video]Fat but fit: Plus size fitness guru claims she is healthier than slimmer girls – despite being morbidly obese

By Lucy Notarantonio A ‘fat but fit’ plus size fitness guru claims she is as healthy as she’s ever been – despite being morbidly obese. Certified fitness instructor Tracey Haynes, 37, has a..

Credit: Rumble     Duration: 02:30Published

John Travolta’s iconic dance moves [Video]John Travolta’s iconic dance moves

John Travolta is turning 65 and here’s a recap of the best dance moves of his career.

Credit: Zoom.in STUDIO     Duration: 01:05Published

Sea Otter Pup Reunited With Mother in California's Morro Bay [Video]Sea Otter Pup Reunited With Mother in California's Morro Bay

A sea otter pup was successfully reunited with its mother in Morro Bay, California, on February 4 after being separated from her earlier that day, according to rescuers. The Marine Mammal Center said..

Credit: Rumble     Duration: 00:41Published

Word of the Day: Prestigious [Video]Word of the Day: Prestigious

February 18, 2019 Prestigious (adj) : esteemed in general opinion

Credit: Time     Duration: 00:34Published

Jeff Jamison's Weather Update [Video]Jeff Jamison's Weather Update

Tuesday will be the worst day of the week when it comes to weather because we'll be expecting 80% chance of rain and colder temperatures. Things should start to look up again Wednesday.

Credit: CBS 11 Dallas     Duration: 02:41Published

Henry's evening forecast: Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019 [Video]Henry's evening forecast: Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019

Heavy rain is moving out for now and we will be left with cold temperatures and areas of fog overnight. President`s Day, Monday, will be cool with highs in the upper 40s under a mostly cloudy sky.

Credit: NewsChannel 5 Nashville     Duration: 02:47Published


Recent related news from verified sources

Happy Death Day 2 U review: Shaky slasher flick goes for schtick in desperate sequel

The script looks as if it's been pasted together at random from bits written by a committee which has never met.
The Age Also reported by •IndependentThe WrapJust Jared

'Alita: Battle Angel' leads box office bombs in slowest Presidents Day weekend in nearly 20 years

The sci-fi fantasy "Alita: Battle Angel" topped the charts and beat out a number of newcomers including the meta romantic comedy "Isn't It Romantic" and the...
FOXNews.com Also reported by •USATODAY.com

Pro wrestling. Action. Death. Is this the least romantic Valentine's Day at the movies?

Your movie viewing options for Valentine's Day include a slasher flick ('Happy Death Day 2U') and a pro wrestling film ('Fighting With My Family').
USATODAY.com

Here’s Why the Plot of ‘Happy Death Day 2U’ Makes No Sense

Here’s Why the Plot of ‘Happy Death Day 2U’ Makes No Sense
(Major spoilers ahead for all of “Happy Death Day 2U”) “Happy Death Day 2U” is a fascinating sequel, and surprisingly ambitious for a horror...
The Wrap Also reported by •geek.comSeattle TimesUSATODAY.com

Tweets about this


Other recent news in US

Flagstaff sledders hit freshly covered slopes on PRESIDENTS DAYTrump On Ex-Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe’s ’60 MINUTES’ Interview: ‘His Story Gets Even More Deranged’
News Brief: Legal Response To Trump's Emergency, McCabe Speaks, Jussie SMOLLETT CASEBrothers questioned in JUSSIE SMOLLETT case speak out
Environmentally friendly: One News Page is hosted on servers powered solely by renewable energy
© 2019 One News Page Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
About us  |  Contact us  |  Disclaimer  |  Press Room  |  Terms & Conditions  |  Content Accreditation
 RSS  |  News for my Website  |  Free news search widget  |  Contact us  |  DMCA / Content Removal  |  Privacy & Data Protection Policy
How are we doing? Send us your feedback  |   LIKE us on Facebook   FOLLOW us on Twitter  •  FOLLOW us on Pinterest