Vacation Friends 2 | Review by: Benjamin Garrett
Sometimes you get a sequel that builds upon what worked in the original, delivering something familiar but fresh and exciting. Sometimes you get one that exists for no reason other than to cash in on the success of the first movie. What kind of sequel is Vacation Friends 2? Well, look at my score and take a wild guess.
Listen, the first movie wasn’t a masterpiece, but it provided some big laughs along with an entertaining cast led by the comedically underrated John Cena. It’s hard to believe this follow-up comes from the same writer and director, because nothing - and I really do mean nothing - works as well as it did in the original. I’ve noticed something a lot of inferior comedy sequels have in common, and it’s that they always try to go bigger. Bigger isn’t always better, though, especially with comedy. Apparently nobody got that memo here, as this sequel takes the simple concept of a mismatched group of friends and throws in needless action elements involving drug lords and the cartel.
The cast was a big part of the first film’s appeal - namely the hilarious pairing of John Cena and Meredith Hagner. Watching their wild characters play off Lil Rel Howery and Yvonne Orji was a lot of fun, but that dynamic is wasted here. Instead, Steve Buscemi is thrown into the mix, but his talents are completely wasted. While the cast is still very watchable, not even Cena’s charisma and his chemistry with Hagner can mask a movie that has no idea what it wants to be.
It’s way too busy, but at the same time it feels like there’s nothing really happening. There are countless subplots that either aren’t intriguing or simply don’t go anywhere interesting. It’s just a random assortment of different plot threads that barely tie into each other. It’s messy, and really seems as if the writers wanted to use these characters again, but didn’t have a good reason to.
Vacation Friends 2 squanders the comedic potential of its charismatic group of stars, with an aimless, unfunny and ultimately unnecessary sequel. Save yourself the time - this is a bad trip.
Review by: Benjamin Garrett