Directed by: Tim Story
Cast: Kevin Hart, Gabrielle Union, Taraji P. Henson, Regina Hall, Michael Ealy, Romany Malco, Jerry Ferrara, Meagan Good, Terrence Jenkins, Gary Owen
Running Time: 1 hr 46 mins
Release Date: June 20, 2014
PLOT: The men and women from Think Like a Man migrate their battle of the sexes to Las Vegas.
WHO’S IT FOR? Will you watch Kevin Hart in anything? And (in Katherine Hahn’s voice) I mean, a-ny-thin-g?
Steve Harvey does not guest appear as his own televangelist in Think Like a Man Too, the sequel based off the movie based off his offensively titled book “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man” (I assume no one wanted to name the sequel to Think Like a Man “Act Like a Lady”). That’s a plus. He only appears in the form of a smiling face on a “Family Feud” slot machine, with Kevin Hart screaming up towards his heavenly post, “Thank you, Steve Harvey!” but at least there’s no shamelessly obvious placement of his book, or footage of him selling said book that is based on the movie viewers were already watching, etc.
The minus is that by this film’s very existence, Harvey shines his pearly whites and polished scalp again from on high over the lives of fictional characters who are used for a preachy means, just like Mom’s Night Out and with all of the aloof storytelling intact. With lecturing the audience on an ancient idealism of masculinity still on the menu, the characters within the film’s universe are simply relocated to America’s full-time hedonism hangout Las Vegas, with even less to do than the already lacking original film. Now we watch them tornado through party shenanigans, and face third act comeuppance. Needless to say, Terrence J is still defeated by the act of showing emotion.
Like with part one, by the time Hart’s screaming voiceover wraps up, all the men will have learned something new about what it means to be a man (with his own warped idea of masculinity from a different period), and with regards to their status as a husband, father, impending father, boyfriend, etc. Through its female characters the men learn their lessons, and most important of all, how to manage women. Worse than that, the men seem to be re-learning lessons stuff they must have forgotten in the first movie, less a testament to the focus of their relationships, but to the idea that these characters are involved specifically to preach to different areas.
With such indifferent construction, Think Like a Man Too shows how its structure is unsound even in terms of the message that it speaks. The idea of making an older figure come off as obnoxious, preachy, and a total buzzkill is horrendously hypocritical for a project assembled by Steve Harvey, the “Family Feud” host who will famously assert his classiness by fixing your tie in the middle of a game show, or feign suicide whenever a contestant’s jitters cause them to say something goofy as a possible answer.
Even more confusing is the implementation of Hart. Financially, his presence makes a great amount of $ense, given his hot streak in tepid comedies (Ride Along, About Last Night) that cause him to play up the same characteristics that have transitioned in a Zach Galifianakis-style from his standup. With a wider audience and more screentime, he continues to self-consciously confront emasculation while involving himself in scripts that make direct jokes out of his height, voice, etc. He does have this film’s one big laugh, which involves the fear in his eye when he tries to intimidate unexpected roommates.
But is a character who acts like a child (given his dance sequence, the way he jumps into a pool, and a moment in which he dresses up like Bam-Bam from “The Flintstones”) really a productive story axis for Harvey’s pontification on masculinity, as bestowed with the film’s voiceover? Is this powerless man not just a chaotic idea of a man as compared to his taller bros, but a Judas to Steve Harvey’s cause of guiding men how to calm down the women that don’t understand guy stuff?
And yet, such a lazily titled sequel (what is the context inferred with the added “too”?) can’t be troubled to think this or anything else through. Think Like a Man Too is a phony party that finds its only point of purpose in the need to provide another sequel, its albeit terrible messages reiterated with little evolution. As the condescending, cranky, and out-of-touch spirit of Harvey fills this film, at least Think Like a Man Too inspires equality by being offensive to both men and women.
FINAL SCORE: 3/10