Movie Review: ‘Happy Death Day 2U’ Returns For Another Round Of More-Merry-Than-Macabre Déjà Vu

When 'Groundhog Day' meets 'Back to the Future Part II'…  



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. (***)

Photo: UIP

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