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article imageReview: ‘Happy Death Day 2U’ is a great gift for the fun-loving moviegoer Special

By Sarah Gopaul     Feb 14, 2019 in Entertainment
‘Happy Death Day 2U’ picks up where the first film left off — including yet another death loop — but with a few important differences.
The Groundhog Day theme has been repurposed more than once since it was released in 1993 with varying results. Its comedic properties are obvious, but that hasn’t stopped creators from using it in other genres like sci-fi and horror that, in some cases, have more dire consequences. One of the most surprising applications came in the unexpected slasher comedy, Happy Death Day, which employed the single-day-effect to create a fresh, entertaining narrative. But no one ever figured out what generated the loop… until now. In the immediate sequel, Happy Death Day 2U, it starts happening again — only this time we know why.
The renewed Tree (Jessica Rothe) and Carter (Israel Broussard) are blissfully enjoying a new day together after finally uncovering the identity of her killer. His roommate, Ryan (Phi Vu), however, is experiencing a serious case of déjà vu at the hands of a baby face-masked executioner. After some investigation, it turns out Ryan and his classmates’ science experiment is causing more than rolling blackouts across campus. When they try to undo the damage, Tree is regrettably thrown back into her loop… but things are different. And each time she comes back from death, she’s a little bit weaker than before. Now Tree has to repeatedly convince these strangers to help her or risk being stuck in this alternate reality forever.
In spite of making this movie a little more scientific than its predecessor, it still doesn’t take itself too seriously. When it’s decided Tree actually has to take her own life each day, she gets creative. When trying to stop the murder of her friends, she takes irrational risks. In between, she’s trying to accept the changed aspects of this world and make one of the most difficult decisions of her life. No one could possibly envy Tree’s position and she’s definitely not happy about being stuck in yet another loop, but she does make the most of it.
This sequel isn’t so much better than the original, but on par with it — which is somewhat expected since director Christopher Landon returned alongside the original cast. Of course, it’s a little repetitive since there’s only so many ways to evade a murderer. However, the new hurdles thrown in Tree’s path alter the gist of her mission this time around. The return of some of the old characters with new attitudes also change things up a bit, particularly her sorority sisters. This is one of those sequels that is exponentially more enjoyable if you’ve seen the first movie since so much of the narrative is based on previously established elements that may not seem significant otherwise, such as Tree’s roommate’s pulse.
When looking for a popcorn movie, it doesn’t matter if it’s predictable — but it has to be fun and this movie definitely checks that box.
Director: Christopher Landon
Starring: Jessica Rothe, Israel Broussard and Phi Vu
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