Happy Death Day 2U (PG13)
Starring Jessica Rothe, Israel Broussard, Suraj Sharma
Directed by Christopher Landon
No one in their right mind would remake a classic movie (hello, Psycho!), let alone make a sequel to one (hello, Psycho II!). But there’s a way around it.
One of the more lightweight Blumhouse ventures, Happy Death Day is a Groundhog Day rehash reimagined as a slasher flick. Now, you can’t make a sequel to Groundhog Day (sacrilege!), but you sure hell can do one for Happy Death Day.
Unfolding seconds after the events in the first movie, the likable follow-up sees Jessica Rothe’s reformed mean girl put through the wringer again — in the same time loop. Sorta. (If you didn’t see Part I, fret not: there’s a recap for newbies.)
In the original movie, the live-die-repeat anomaly was some inexplicable cosmic glitch. Turns out the glitch can be explained: a quantum physics experiment (run by Life of Pi’s Suraj Sharma, Pitch Perfect 2’s Phi Vu and Sarah Yarkin) ripped a hole in the space-time continuum, exposing the heroine’s world to other multi-verses.
That’s why! Very Back to the Future Part II. Yeah, the self-aware characters think so too. What follows is another more-merry-than-macabre round of déjà vu — same same but different. But if you’re coming for the killer-on-the-loose action, prepare to be disappointed: it’s the least interesting part. (***)