REVIEW: Rapid-fire jokes and endearing silliness make this Vegas-wedding comedy a good bet. | ★★★ out of 4 stars
“Think Like a Man Too” makes a modest promise and over-delivers on it. For the cost of your ticket, you get almost two hours of quick-paced, mind-numbing silliness. It’s amateurish but gleeful. The zoom-zoom pacing and all-in performances make sure the jokes don’t fall on dead air.
There’s hardly any plot, and a commonplace premise. Five couples visit Sin City for a wedding, and the bachelor/bachelorette parties go out of bounds.
As comedy of misbehavior goes, it’s sweet-spirited, without the stifled rage that fueled the identically themed “Hangover” movies. Like its predecessor, this comedy was designed with inclusion in mind. Its cast is half women and half men, predominantly black but with significant supporting roles for the white players. The jokes are stereotypical, with the black players on the cool, crazy or soulful side, and whites mild and nerdy, but there’s no venom in the laughs. Everyone’s endearing.
Tiny tornado Kevin Hart, as the rip-it-up party animal best man, gripes that the rest of the men don’t want to go crazy; he calls them his “nontourage.” His opposite number is Wendi McLendon-Covey as a sweetly frumpy bridesmaid whose idea of Vegas glam is a sea-foam twin set. She’s very funny in a recessive, all-by-herself way. When she comes alive with Gabrielle Union, Meagan Good and the rest of the girls in the inevitable rap singalong, it’s like watching a beige Ford Taurus turn into the Batmobile.
As the dragon lady mother of the groom, formidable Jenifer Lewis is an imperious spoilsport, undermining her soon-to-be daughter-in-law at every turn. She’s blazingly alive and hard, a witch who could give Maleficent some lessons on indestructibility.
Director Tim Story whips the movie along. He gets laughs out of zany costumes (a strip-show amateur night gives Hart an excuse to dress like the Flintstones’ Bam-Bam) and random celebrity cameos (Drake, Floyd Mayweather and, as a men’s club dancer, the bodacious Coco).
The story is nothing more than a jungle gym for the cast to play on, but Story keeps the pace so frantic, and the soundtrack so stuffed with delights, we scarcely have time to notice. If only every trivial movie were this much fun.
Colin Covert • 612-673-7186★★★ out of 4 stars