The immensely likable couples featured in the first movie, loosely based on the Steve Harvey advice book, return for more romantic misadventures, this time gathered together in Las Vegas for "Think Like a Man Too."
Mama's boy Michael and single mom Candace (Terrence J and Regina Hall) are to be married, but his disapproving mom, other couples' dramas, and the best man Kevin Hart's shenanigans throw a wrench into the Big Day.
The chemistry of the cast is the biggest draw to this sequel, and their appealing interaction is key to your enjoyment of the film.
The diminutive hyperactive motor-mouth comedian Kevin Hart is Cedric, the catalyst for much of the wacky situations that result. He can get annoying, sort of like a yappy dog, but he is one funny dude.
As the central couple, Terrence J and Regina Hall emerge from the pack as a real deal, and you root for their happy ever after. Same goes for Michael Ealy and Taraji P. Henson, and Jerry Ferrara and Gabrielle Union.
Most of the characters, however, are fairly standard. The relatable couples are in various stages -- career choices, ready to start a family, and needing to shake things up after humdrum routine settles in with kids.
St. Louis native Jenifer Lewis is an over-the-top controlling mother mode, and it starts feeling contrived. But the appearance of Dennis Haysbert as Uncle Eddie helps soften her dragon lady diva.
The addition of Wendi McLendon-Covey ("Bridesmaids") is hilarious. She plays Tish, the drab mom suddenly unleashed in Sin City.
Wendy Williams has a few terrific moments as Cedric's on-again, off-again gal, setting up a great joke (check out whom she's with!).
The sequel is an amiable effort that's pleasant summer entertainment., hinging on the sincere mojo of the cast. It's best when it concentrates on that strength.
Vegas is indeed ready for its close-up, and the glitter gulch is showcased in all its glory. (Make sure to stay for the final scene in the casino during the credits -- you know Steve Harvey had to get in somehow.
What Doesn't Work
If you don't remember who's who in the first film -- as in what exactly were the couple conflicts back then -- it's hard to figure out the current relationships, because they are counting on you to be familiar with the back story.
2 1/2 stars out of 4
Director: Tim Story
Starring: Kevin Hart, Michael Ealy, Jerry Ferrara, Meagan Good, Regina Hall, Dennis Haysbert, Taraji P. Henson, Terrence J, Jenifer Lewis, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Gary Owen, Gabrielle Union, Adam Brody
Rated: PG-13 for crude sexual content including references, partial nudity, language and drug material.