Vacation Friends 2 Review

Vacation Friends 2
Vacation Friends 2
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There is a certain class of domestic farce that seems almost impossible to follow up properly. Meet the Parents, Horrible Bosses, Bad Moms, great hits like them have their second parts that are far from being that good as they try to extend simple situations, for example, starting a relationship with your future mother-in-law, hating your employer and becoming his worst nightmare personified; secure bad mom turning into perfect parent by getting involved in some other aspects of life but these instances fall flat trying to be better than their predecessors with new adults-only parents or grandparents or babies or more complicated plots. So Vacation Friends 2 takes a stab at all three – and even throws in an impress-the-boss plot straight out of an old sitcom.

Writer-director Clay Tarver would have had every reason to want to make Vacation Friends bigger. That movie was already the budget version of those high-concept social conflict comedies crossed with The Hangover: Straight-laced Marcus (Lil Rel Howery) and Emily (Yvonne Orji) partake in uncharacteristic vacation debauchery with wild-card new pals Ron (John Cena) and Kyla (Meredith Hagner), only to discover that the couple’s hyperactive love of life isn’t going away anytime soon. With the foursome already unlikely pals when Vacation Friends 2 begins, the movie must strain to introduce new conflicts: Marcus has semi-inexplicably invited his unpredictable besties on a trip so he can close a big deal for his construction company. Additionally, Kyla’s dad (played by Steve Buscemi), fresh out of prison and readying himself for possible mischief also complicates Ron and Kyla’s lives who happen to be first-time parents.

Therefore it promises maximum shenanigans but actually provides minimum laughs. One thing I liked about this film was how it made Ron who is a risk-taking tough guy with a big heart look weak just because of Kyla’s father who is his only weak point. When Cena, the muscle-bound try-anything character begins to struggle to impress a clipped, disdainful Buscemi, it is amusing for some time. However, the comic tension ebbs away until the two become actors playing out characters that don’t like each other much and happen to be going through the same thing. Also, Ron and Kyla’s new baby is introduced with verve and even some daring before being pushed aside later in the movie for flat-babysitting gags.

That is how most of Vacation Friends 2 comedy situations play out. It takes them so long to build up to anything approaching a climax that you wonder if you are watching escalations at all: these sub-plots seem tiredly trudging up a flight of steps while game performers curse frequently as per R-rated requirements. Even though Cena and Hagner still bring everything they have got into their essentially relentless joke machines on chaos, which means they get stuck in lame scenes about drugs and ashes respectively (no prize for guessing how these elements eventually come together). It’s not like every single gag fails but those jokes do not hold up well by themselves. For instance, Tarver seems fond of putting big slapstick gags in the background – an age-old comedic device that he tends to undercut by giving away punch lines too early

Like the film is doing, everything is like it. Just two years after the first movie, Vacation Friends 2 aims at a loose-panting free spirit but ends with a screech and canned blast. The latter does not make any impact because its voice gets lost among many other observations about married couple’s friend dynamics and new parenthood as well as prospective parenting or family relationships that are on the mend. These reflections don’t have to be profound revelations about human nature; though they could use some greater sense of our humanity. Instead of going through the motions, Vacation Friends 2 tries not to go through them but still goes ahead creating more motions.


Vacation Friends 2 adds a few fresh elements to its too-soon sequelizing, but they can’t change this comedy’s listless, laugh-light trajectory.

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